Match Report | Blyth Spartans 1 – 2 Rushall Olympic FC | National League North | 2023/24

Stephen Beecroft

Blyth Spartans suffered a 2-1 defeat at Croft Park at the hands of Rushall Olympic in front of an attendance of 952 supporters.

There could be little complaints as Rushall opened a two-goal lead going into the break, with goals from Owen Oseni and Ronan Maher into an empty net. After the interval Luke James pegged one back for Spartans, but momentum was stunted by the baffling dismissal of Will McGowan before Spartans were denied a seemingly stonewall penalty.

In truth Blyth were the makers of their own downfall in the first half, though they came out the more forward-thinking side, they were wasteful in possession and saw a string of chances offer little to no threat on the Rushall goal with the pick of the bunch a cross by Oli Thompson, who posed a threat throughout, but he saw his cross collected by Jacob Weaver on this occasion.

Things weren’t much better to begin proceedings for Rushall in a very slow start to the game, but the visitors scored with their first real chance. Jaden Charles ran forward from left back and did well to find Oseni in the box, who saw his first effort blocked by Nicky Deverdics before rolling home into an empty net at the second time of asking.

Within five minutes the lead was doubled in a similar fashion. A Finn Cousin Dawson slip allowed Oseni to latch onto an inviting forward pass by Alexander Fletcher into the box, this time though the number nine’s effort was saved by Michael Hogan; but it was only parried into the path of Maher who again finished into an empty net.

Spartans saw a pair of Deverdics free-kicks and a single corner fail to pose much threat, while frailties in possession continued to leave the home attacks somewhat uninspired – though a suspected handball did cause noise from those behind the goal, the shouts were quickly waved away by referee Matthew McQuillan.

Shortly after and the declined penalty, they remained on the front foot as they carved out their best chance of the half with some quick attacking play with intent down the right hand side. Rhys Evans was sharp to find Will McGowan in the box, who in turn fed into the path of Thompson who curled narrowly wide of the near post.

A booking for McGowan preceded the referees half-time whistle, with a contingent of Blyth supporters ushering Jon Shaw to make changes as his side departed the pitch, but the only change as the teams made their way out of the tunnel was an increase in the speeds of the wind in the air.

Half-time: Blyth Spartans 0 – 2 Rushall Olympic

This worked into the hands of a seemingly more invigorated Spartans as James, in plenty of space to make a decision from 25 yards, opted to line up an effort with the wind behind him and the goal in his sight. The driving effort contacted the turf on its way, but not Weaver as the ball bounced into the back of the net to half the deficit.

The clock around the hour mark and Spartans began to build some attacking momentum, though referee McQuillan began to lose control of the game as he halted proceedings constantly; culminating with the decision to award McGowan a second yellow card and a dismissal for shirt pulling.

Perhaps feeling as though momentum had slowed, Shaw stripped out of his tracksuit into the famous green-and-white stripes as he entered the fray for Thompson; hoping to inspire his side to a much-needed comeback.

Stephen Beecroft

The visitors themselves looked to put the game beyond Blyth and regain their two-goal advantage and were denied only by the woodwork as Fletcher unleashed Maher down the right, whose effort curled around Hogan – with the post coming to the rescue to give Spartans a goal-kick.

The referee continued to give decision after decision against Blyth much to the fans’ dismay. Denying what looked an obvious penalty as Jordan Cook was brought down in the box, Deverdics and Shaw were both booked for dissent, as was Lewis Dickman in the dugout.

Luke Duden

Stephen Beecroft

Full-time: Blyth Spartans 1 – 2 Rushall Olympic

Blyth Spartans | Michael Hogan, Rhys Evans (Jordan Cook), Harrison Clark (Joe Oliver), Finn Cousin Dawson, Jack Bodenham, Oli Thompson (Jon Shaw), Elliot Forbes, Nicky Deverdics ©, Luke James, Will McGowan, Lirak Hasani

Subs not used | Charlie Aitken, Malakai Reeve

Goals | Luke James 56′

Rushall Olympic | Jake Weaver, Kristian Green, Jaden Charles, Alex Fletcher, Jordaan Brown, Rico Browne, Alex Moore (Sam McLintock), Owen Oseni (Owen Farmer), Conor Tee (Joey Butlin), Ronan Maher, Mitchell Clarke

Subs not used | Louis Hall, Kory Roberts

Goals | Owen Oseni 23′, Ronan Maher 28′

Attendance | 952

Referee | Matthew McQuillan

Posted by BSAFC Admin