Match Report | Blyth Spartans 2-1 South Shields | National League North | 2023/24

Jon Shaw took charge of his first game in charge since being appointed as Blyth Spartans manager in what would be a 2-1 victory due to late heroics from JJ Hooper. 

Paul Blackett put the visitors ahead after four minutes, but Blyth fought back as Finn Cousin-Dawson levelled the game just before the half-hour mark and substitute JJ Hooper set Croft Park alight with a bullet header in the 91st minute.

The Spartans made just one change from Boxing Day’s 3-1 away win over South Shields as Jordan Hickey replaced Mikael Ndjoli.

The Spartans could have possibly started the game with a penalty after just three minutes as Michael Liddle attempted to cross the ball into the box and there were numerous shouts for a penalty which was waved off by the referee.

One minute later, Paul Blackett opened the scoring as he ran onto Lirak Hasani’s threaded-through ball and slotted the ball under Dan Langley.

Nicky Deverdics sent a free kick into the box and Jack Bodenham jumped highest and headed wide at the back post.

Deverdics had an effort blocked from the edge of the box and the ball deflected off Will McGowan as it trickled out for a goal kick.

Finn Cousin-Dawson equalised in the 28th minute after running onto Deverdics’s cross at the front post and striking the ball into the roof of the net.

McGowan played a perfect ball through for Cedric Main whose shot was saved by the leg of Myles Boney, the ball then fell to the edge of the box for Jordan Hickey who had his shot blocked and finally, Deverdics struck a volley over the crossbar.

Five minutes before half-time, Hickey sent a searching ball into the box, which went just over the head of Cedric Main as Boney collected the ball.

Robert Briggs had a chance for the Mariners from the edge of the box, but his effort was blocked and sent out for a corner which was sent to the front post and hit wide by Briggs.

Half-time: Blyth Spartans 1-1 South Shields

The first action of the half saw Liddle chip the ball forward for Hickey who smashed a cross to the front post which Boney managed to kick away from any danger.

Elliot Forbes had a chance to put Blyth ahead just after the hour mark as his curling effort was parried away by Boney only for McGowan to latch onto the rebound and his effort was blocked and sent wide of the post.

A cross was sent in from Deverdics and was headed backwards by a South Shields defender towards goal and Boney produced a world-class save to prevent an own goal.

McGowan slotted the ball forward for a surging Rhys Evans who struck the ball low and hard towards goal, but his shot was blocked.

Moments later Mariners captain Blair Adams sailed his strike over the crossbar.

Liddle drove forward on the left, cut in onto his right foot and crossed the ball into the box which went just over the head of substitute JJ Hooper and the Mariners managed to clear the ball.

JJ Hooper put Blyth ahead with a powerful header at the near post in the 91st minute against his former club after latching onto Liddle’s pin-perfect cross which would inevitably win Blyth Spartans the match; our second victory over South Shields in five days.

Full-time: Blyth Spartans 2-1 South Shields

Blyth Spartans | Dan Langley, Rhys Evans, Michael Liddle, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Jack Bodenham, Jordan Hickey, Elliot Forbes, Nicky Deverdics ©, Joe Oliver (Harrison Clark 56’), Cedric Main (JJ Hooper 69’), Will McGowan (Billy Gordon 90+2’)

Subs not used | Rio Joisce, Michael Hogan

Goals | Finn Cousin-Dawson 28’, JJ Hooper 90+1’

South Shields | Myles Boney, John Lufudu (Courtney Clarke 60’), Blair Adams ©, Gary Liddle, Thomas Broadbent, Martin Smith, Robert Briggs, Lirak Hasani, Paul Blackett (Mackenzie Heaney 85’), Michael Woods, Jordy Mongoy (Aaron Martin 73’)

Subs not used | Jediael Abbey, James Sloan

Goals | Paul Blackett 4’’

Attendance | 1754

Referee | Richard Eley

Jon Shaw’s post-match interview following the 2-1 victory against South Shields

Spartans next face off against Bishop’s Stortford at the ProKit UK Stadium on Saturday, January 6, 2024, with a 1pm kick-off.

Posted by Ben Lightfoot