By Connor Bromley
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Thursday April 19 2018
Blyth Spartans 2-0 Southport
Jarrett Rivers and Adam Wrightson scored the all important goals that ended Blyth Spartans seven game losing streak at Croft Park on Thursday evening.
The visitors were also enduring a torrid run as they have now fallen to six straight defeats because of this result.
The early stages of the game were very cagey with neither side having much in the way of chances. However that all changed in the tenth minute.
Robbie Dale executed a stunning cross-field ball to Rivers who controlled the ball brilliantly. He cut inside past his man and put the ball away with conviction into the bottom left-hand corner to give Blyth the lead.
Southport had their first opportunity of the game in the 17th minute as Dion Charles found himself in down Blyth’s right-hand side. The striker fired a volley straight at the Spartans stopper Peter Jameson.
The visitors had two half-hearted penalty appeals on 29 and 32 minutes but the referee waved both away and even booked the Sandgrounders striker Jason Gilchrist.
On 33 minutes Dan Maguire nearly scored on his return to the starting lineup as he was fed in beautifully by Sean Reid. The Spartans striker took the ball past Mark Halstead in the Soutport net but saw his effort hit the side netting.
Just two minutes later Southport nearly equalised as Charles got in down the right-hand side one on one with Jameson. The Blyth keeper, as he has done many times over the last few weeks, saved his effort with conviction to keep Spartans in the lead.
Jordan Laidler showed his passing expertise on 36 minutes as he played in Maguire expertly down the left side. Nipa cut back inside and his ambitious effort from the touchline whistled just wide of the far right post.
Gilchrist had Southport’s best effort of the game on 40 minutes but he saw his point blank header from 12 yards out go straight into Jameson’s arms. Blyth saw the game to half time with a one goal lead.
The second half saw Blyth control the game and limit their visitors chances to half ones at best.
In the 49th minute Jordan Laidler nearly landed an inch perfect cross onto the head of Sean Reid, but the midfielder could not get his head onto the ball.
Maguire then set up Sean Reid in the 64th minute with some great play in the box. Reid volleyed an effort from 15 yards that was well saved by Halstead.
Southport threatened with the occasional free kick and corner but they lacked the quality to really do any damage to the Blyth defence.
With five minutes added on Southport threw the kitchen sink at Blyth even sending goalie Halstead up for a corner.
The resultant counter attack saw Dale springfree and play a delightful ball to substitute Adam Wrightson. All that was left to do for Wrightson was to finish past Halstead who had just made it back to his goal from the corner – and he did with precision, chipping the goalie.
Referee Garreth Rhodes blew the whistle almost straight after kick off and Blyth ended their seven game losing streak with an all important 2-0 victory.
Spartans: Jameson, Cartwright, Watson, Mullen, Buddle, Atkinson, Rivers, Laidler, Maguire, Reid, Dale (Capt)
Subs: Wrightson, Liddle, Horner, McTiernan, MacDonald
Southport: Halstead, Richards, Priestley, Morgan, Howson, Marx, Osborne, Lynch, Gilchrist, Dawson, Charles
Subs: Doyle, Smith, Cockerline, Hannah, Worsnop
Referee: Garreth Rhodes,
Assistants: David Carr and James Bancroft
Blyth Spartans Man of the Match : Robbie Dale