Match Report | Clinical Spartans secure last 32 berth

By Stuart Dick

In association with:
Chartered Management Accountant

Saturday December 15, 2018

Lancaster City 0-3 Blyth Spartans

Blyth Spartans secured a safe passage to the Buildbase FA Trophy second round in horrendous condition at the Giant Axe.

Michael Liddle’s 15th minute free-kick set Alun Armstrong’s men on their way, before two goals in five minutes from Dan Maguire and Jamie Holmes on the hour mark sealed the tie for the visitors.

Lancaster then had two defenders sent off for denying goalscoring opportunities – Craig Stanley bringing down Sean Reid in the 79th minute before Paul Dugdale brought down Holmes in identical fashion three minutes from time.

Spartans made three changes from the side that won 2-0 against Ashton United a week ago, Damen Mullen replacing Kieran Green – the midfielder captaining the side on his 200th appearance for the club – whilst Holmes and Nathan Buddle replaced Robert Dale and Aaron Cunningham.

But it was the unlikely left-foot of Michael Liddle who provided the first two efforts of the game, the first a scuffed effort easily blocked, the second a rasping effort that sailed a whisper over the crossbar.

With 12 minutes played, Spartans were awarded a free-kick on the left edge of the penalty area, but Connor Oliver’s effort sailed out of the ground.

Three minutes later Spartans were awarded a free-kick that mirrored the position of the previous one. This time Liddle stepped up and curled a delicious free-kick into the top right hand corner of Aiden Stone’s net.

A lull in proceeding followed, with Spartans dominating possession with the formidable wind behind their back, but struggling to create against a committed opposition.

Maguire began to show his class on the half hour mark, he reacted quickest on the edge of the area after a well worked move to stroke a left footed effort just past the left hand upright.

Three minutes later he tried his luck again, from 12-yards, again a left footed effort rolling just the wrong side of the post.

With the wind at their back in the second half, Lancaster started brightly and had a number of chances to equalise. Three minutes into the second period substitute Ryan Winder raced clear, beating Jameson with his effort, but not the post.

Two minutes later Jameson was in the action again, tipping away a Tom Kilifin effort, Winder missing an open goal with his rebound – the offside up to spare his blushes.

With 59 minute played, Maguire hit the woodwork. Allowed to run free of the defence, Maguire hit a left footed effort across goal, but saw his strike cannon off the post.

A minute later Spartans doubled their lead against the run of play. Stone’s goal kick was poorly hit and fell at the feet of Reid who played in Maguire for identical chance the one a minute earlier – this time he stroked the ball home for his 147th in a green and white shirt.

Five minutes later the game was put to bed, Reid again the creator as he broke down the right. He hit a shot across goal with the wind assisting it into the path of Holmes who netted from inside the six-yard box.

Holmes went close to doubling his tally three minutes later when he curled a 20-yard effort towards the top right hand corner, Stone on hand to tip over the bar.

The hosts never gave up home and won a free-kick with a quarter of an hour to play. Winder stepped up and flashed an effort over the wall, but Jameson tracked the ball well and palmed it away for a corner.

Four minutes later, Holmes raced toward goal, dissecting tow defenders before approaching the edge of the area. Stanley bundled him over and the referee had no choice but to send off the Dolly Blues defender.

The resulting free-kick was hit towards the bottom left hand corner by Oliver, but Stone was on hand to tip the ball past the post.

Three minutes before the end, Dugdale hauled down Reid in the same spot as Stanley did to Holmes and was sent from the field of play, this time the free-kick came to nothing.

A well fought game in 50mph winds and non stop rain, with the temperature never rising above zero, feeling more like minus-5.

Blyth Spartans | Jameson, Horner, Liddle, Mullen, Buddle, J Watson, Rivers, Oliver, Maguire, Reid, Holmes.

Unused | Fewster, I Watson, Wrightson, Green, Nicholson

Lamcaster City | Stone, Fensome, Dugldale, Williams (Jarvis), Hudson, Stanley, Russell (Bailey), Wills, Blinkhorn (Winder), Wilson, Kilifin

Unused | Henry, Lonsdale

Referee | Aaron Jackson

Attendance | TBC

Spartans Man of the Match | Sean Reid

Posted by Stuart Dick