Match Report | Blyth Spartans 4-0 Farsley Celtic | National League North | 2023/24

Blyth Spartans bounced back from Saturday’s late dismay with a stunning performance under the lights at Croft Park.

Cedric Main opened the scoring with a powerful strike which was followed by Will McGowan’s left-footed effort in the first half. McGowan scored a third just after the break and Michael Liddle extended Blyth’s lead with a strong header.

Graham Fenton was forced into making one change in the starting eleven as Nicky Deverdics missed the game due to injury and the returning JJ O’Donnell came back from his concussion protocol period. Joe Oliver also made his Spartans debut from the bench as he replaced Rhys Evans with 20 minutes left on the clock.

Blyth had their first chance on goal as Will McGowan’s powerful shot whipped past the post after he got onto the end of JJ O’Donnell’s pass.

Nine minutes in, Cedric Main broke the deadlock as he latched onto the long ball from Michael Liddle; he then shifted right to beat Jack Leckie and struck the ball hard and low into the bottom left corner.

Spartans continued to attack and this time Jack Bodenham played a precise through ball behind the Farsley defence that was inches away from finding Main, but he was flagged offside as Michael Acquah claimed the ball.

Main nearly doubled the lead for Blyth with an audacious, yet powerful effort from 25-yards which flashed by the side netting.

Farsley had their first effort on goal after 27 minutes as Joao Silva struck his effort wide of goal from inside the 18-yard box.

Clayton Donaldson was one-on-one with an oncoming Alex Mitchell, who came rushing; Donaldson tried to direct his run around Mitchell and have a shot on goal but his strike missed the target.

Michael Liddle played a ball into the box which found Main and he laid the ball off to Bodenham whose shot was blocked and went behind for a corner, which sadly came to nothing.

McGowan then scored the second of the game after 39 minutes with a left-footed effort which was placed into the bottom left corner off the post after latching onto a pass into the penalty area by Main.

Spartans had the ball in the net for a third time as the first half neared its conclusion, but unfortunately, it was ruled out for offside as Main was behind the Farsley defence as the ball was played forward.

Half-time: Blyth Spartans 2-0 Farsley Celtic

Spartans started off the second half perfectly as McGowan slotted the ball under Acquah with his right foot into the far corner after 47 minutes having raced onto Rhys Evans’ throw-in which was failed to be cleared on the right flank.

Blyth quickly made it four as Main crossed the ball to the back post and Liddle was positioned excellently to powerfully head the ball past Acquah.

Main, with his back to goal, had a lot to do as he was evading the pressing defender, but he managed to shift his body right and turn to hit a low shot towards goal but Acquah was equal to it.

Farsley finally managed to gain some control of the game after 67 minutes as George Smith drove into the box from the left flank and played the ball back to Donaldson whose effort was hit over the bar.

Substitute Harry Arnison was close to making it five for Blyth as his strike on goal beat Acquah, but was cleared off the line by a Farsley defender.

With 10 minutes to go, McGowan had a chance to turn his brace into a hat-trick with a free-kick, but the resulting strike was hit over the bar.

Donaldson broke the line of the Spartans’ defence and had a great chance to pull one back for Farsley, but his strike was hit too high and cleared the Plessey End Road stand as time was called on a foggy Croft Park.

Full-time: Blyth Spartans 4-0 Farsley Celtic

Blyth Spartans | Alex Mitchell, Rhys Evans (Joe Oliver, 68’), Michael Liddle, Harrison Clark, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Jack Bodenham, Jordan Hickey, JJ O’Donnell © (Harry Arnison, 62’), Elliot Forbes, Cedric Main (Charlie Aitken, 74’), Will McGowan.

Subs not used | Curtis Round and Jon Shaw.

Goals | Cedric Main 9’, Will McGowan 39’, 47’ and Michael Liddle 54’

Farsley Celtic | Michael Acquah, Jack Leckie, George Smith, Chris Atkinson ©, Rudy Misambo, Tom Allan, Jordan Carroll (Sam Leverett, 60’), Ben Atkinson, Clayton Donaldson, Joao Silva (Isaac Robinson, 51’), Darren Stephenson (Jake Forshaw, 55’)

Subs not used | Ryan Watson and Harry Sheridan.

Attendance | 705

Referee | James Bancroft

Stats by Freddie Chandler

Blyth Spartans StatsFarsley Celtic
13Shots 9
7Shots on target0
3Shots blocked3
5Fouls committed13
1Yellow cards0
0Red cards0
Graham Fenton’s post-match assessment of the 4-0 Farsley Celtic win

Spartans next face off against Chester at the Deva Stadium on Saturday afternoon, 9th September, with a 3pm kick-off.

Posted by Ben Lightfoot