Match Report | Blyth Spartans 1-2 Whitby Town | Pre-Season Friendly | 2023/24

In our final test of pre-season before the start of the Vanarama National League North campaign begins Blyth suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Whitby Town.

Whitby’s Harrison Beeden opened the scoring after half an hour with a powerful header from a corner. Still, Blyth were resilient as nine minutes later after a Trialist put them level. However, the Blues continued to fight in the second half and Adam Gell scored the winner with 10 minutes to go.

Lewis Knight started the game in his full debut for the Club since signing on loan from Gateshead while Harry Arnison featured in the second half after officially signing for the Club, having played against Hartlepool United as a trialist. They were joined alongside Finn Cousin-Dawson, Jack Bodenham, Curtis Round, Harrison Clark and Jordan Hickey who all started the game.

The Spartans took charge early in the game from the left flank as a trialist put an excellent ball into the box, but Shane Bland got to the ball before Lewis Knight could make any connection to the ball.

Whitby then went up the other end with Bradley Fewster, but his long-range effort didn’t phase our trialist goalkeeper.

Jerome Greaves should have given the visitors the lead, but his header from six yards out glanced the post and bobbled wide.

Knight broke the defensive line of Whitby as he chased a long ball, but Bland was alert and cleared the danger.

A trialist broke down the left-hand side with a moment of brilliance to beat his defender and played a great ball into the box, but Knight couldn’t get his effort on target.

Harrison Bond then put the visitors ahead just after the half-hour mark having latched onto a corner to nod the Seasiders in front.

Whitby’s Junior Mondel was stopped at point-blank range as he should have doubled their lead.

But a burst of pace forward from a trialist as he controlled an awkward bouncing ball saw him slot under the goalkeeper to level the score five minutes from half-time.

Half-time: Blyth Spartans 1-1 Whitby Town

Jack Bodenham was brought into action as he was positioned brilliantly to head clear an enticing cross from the left-hand side.

Curtis Round and a trialist linked up well to create a counter-attack for Blyth which allowed another trialist on the right who fizzed a cross into the box which created a dangerous chance, but Bland read it well as he smothered the ball.

Adam Gell then put the visitors ahead once again as Whitby flooded numbers forward and Gill latched onto the loose ball to strike it past the substitute trialist goalkeeper.

Whitby looked for a third as Brad Fewster had an effort on goal saved by the Blyth trialist.

Colbey Shepherd then thought he had scored a third for Whitby on 85 minutes, but it was ruled offside due to Gell’s involvement in the build-up.

Bland was then forced into action as he made a big save to deny Round from levelling the score.

In the final moments of the game, the Spartans were on the counter, but Lewis Ritson deliberately pulled on Round’s shirt to stop an attack; which he was booked for. Blyth, however, couldn’t forge anything from the resulting free-kick.

Full-time: Blyth Spartans 1-2 Whitby Town

Blyth Spartans | Trialist (Trialist 70’), Trialist (Clark 70’), Cousin-Dawson (Shaw 70’), Bodenham, Round, Clark (Arnison 45’ (Trialist 81’)), Hickey ©, Knight (Trialist 30’), Trialist (Trialist 45’), Trialist (Trialist 45’), Trialist (Joisce 70’)

Goals | Trialist 39’

Whitby Town | Bland, Ritson, Shepard, Gell, Rowe ©, Beeden (Trialist 70’), Hawkins, Griffiths (Trialist 63’), Fewster, Greaves (Storr 60’), Mondal

Goals | Beeden 32’, Gell 79’

Listen to Graham Fenton’s post-match interview on BSAFC TV via YouTube

The Spartans will begin their National League North campaign on August 5th at home to Gloucester City.

Posted by Ben Lightfoot