Match Report | Blyth Spartans 0-1 Scarborough Athletic | National League North | 2023/24

Jon Shaw suffered his first loss in charge as Blyth Spartans manager in a 1-0 defeat at home to Scarborough Athletic.

Aidan Rutledge put the visitors in the first half in what was the only goal of the game.

The Spartans made just one change from Saturday’s 1-0 away win over Gloucester City as Jordan Cook replaced JJ Hooper.

Treacherous wind and rain bellowed Croft Park as the game’s first effort came for the Seadogs with Luca Colville striking an effort over the crossbar from 25-yards out after five minutes.

The Spartans had a penalty claim as Jack Bodenham was bundled to the floor after latching onto Michael Liddle’s cross, but the referee wasn’t interested as play carried on.

Just after, Rutledge drove forward for the Seadogs and his first shot was initially blocked by Finn Cousin-Dawson. Still, Rutledge capitalised, took the rebound to the right of Dan Langley and had an open shot at net until Liddle made an excellent sliding challenge to prevent a goal.

Alex Brown was in on goal for Scarborough after Rutledge played a brilliant ball forward, but he skewed his shot across the face of the goal on 18 minutes.

Moments later, Nicky Deverdics’ free kick was aimed towards the back post of Ryan Whitley’s goal, but the Seadogs defended it well and managed to clear the ball from any danger.

Rutledge opened the scoring for the visitors after 41 minutes as he rounded Langley and had an open net to tap the ball into.

Soon after the restart, Will McGowan struck an effort from 25 yards out which was hit over the crossbar.

Just before the half ended, Liddle did ever so well to turn his man and drive inside the box and strike a powerful shot towards Whitley who strongly saved and turned the ball behind for a corner which resulted in a clearance as the half-time whistle sounded.

Half-time: Blyth Spartans 0-1 Scarborough Athletic

The first action of the second period for Spartans saw Jordan Cook get on the end of Jack Bodenham’s cross, but his effort was merely flicked goalwards and ended up an easy save for Whitley.

Moments after, Harry Gardiner drove into the box and played the ball across the face of the goal, but nobody was there to tap it home. The ball was only cleared to the edge of the box towards Deverdics who rifled a shot towards the top left corner before Whitley pulled off a phenomenal save to deny the Spartans an equaliser.

Following a quiet spell in the game, Bodenham was the man to drive forward for Blyth, but his effort from distance sailed over the crossbar.

Shortly after, Scarborough substitute Harry Green sent Rutledge in on goal, he rounded Langley and was sure to double his tally, but the forward dragged the shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Immediately after, the Spartans were on the attack and Gardiner was so close to equalising but his effort at the back post was hit off-target.

With less than 10 minutes to go Harrison Clark played a perfect direct through ball towards Gardiner, who spun his man and whipped a cross into the box which was blocked and turned behind by a Seadogs defender.

Clark then sent an inch-perfect cross into the box which substitute JJ Hooper managed to get his head onto the ball and direct it goalwards only for it to be held comfortably by Whitley.

In the dying embers of the clash, the Seadogs should have again doubled their lead as Green nicked the ball off Rhys Evans and sent a long ball forward for substitute Dominic McHale who was one-on-one with Langley, seeing McHale place the ball into the bottom corner only for Langley to produce a great save.

Full-time: Blyth Spartans 0-1 Scarborough Athletic

Blyth Spartans | Dan Langley, Rhys Evans, Michael Liddle, Harrison Clark, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Jack Bodenham, Jordan Cook (JJ Hooper, 56’), Elliot Forbes Nicky Deverdics ©, Will McGowan, Harry Gardiner

Subs not used | Charlie Aitken, Rio Joisce, Billy Gordon, Michael Hogan

Scarborough Athletic | Ryan Whitley, Oliver Dyson, Jassem Sukar, Luca Colville (Dom Tear, 90’), Aidan Rutledge (Dominic McHale, 81’), Alex Purver, Alexander Wiles, Bailey Gooda, Will Thornton ©, Lewis Maloney (Harry Green, 62’), Alex Brown

Subs not used | Curtis Durose, Joseph Cracknell

Goals | Aiden Rutledge 41’

Attendance | 608

Referee | Zac Kennard-Kettle

Jon Shaw’s post-match assessment of Scarborough defeat

Spartans next face off against Warrington Town at Croft Park on Saturday, January 27, 2024, with a 3pm kick-off.

Posted by Ben Lightfoot