Report by Phil Castiaux
In association with:
Alan McLean FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Consultant
Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division
Saturday January 7 2017
Coalville Town 0 1 Blyth Spartans
Blyth Spartans came away from the Mander Cruickshank Stadium in Coalville, Leicestershire on Saturday with three important points in the bag following a 1-0 victory.
A sending off early in the second half for the home side had left the Ravens spitting feathers while it was the Spartans who were left to crow, albeit mildly, as they flew back north; up a quiet M1.
Coalville had the best early chance of the game when, after four minutes, Ryan Robbins could only blast high and wide from 20 yards while under pressure from Blyth’s Ryan Hutchinson. The first ten minutes was played at a breakneck pace with neither side able to piece together a meaningful passage of play.
However, Blyth did fashion an opportunity when Daniel Maguire picked out Jarrett Rivers on Blyth’s left flank. The winger’s shot was saved well by goalkeeper Matt Cotton with his legs, the ball rebounding to Robbie Dale who shot inches wide of the post.
Robbins was in on the Blyth goal after 12 minutes but, once again, he snatched at his opportunity and the ball flew over the Blyth bar.
Rivers was soon in the action again for the Spartans when his cross narrowly eluded the on-rushing Sean Reid but it fell nicely for Dale but the Blyth captain’s low drive was superbly blocked by the stretching Kyle Bryant.
Coalville’s shoot-on-sight policy continued when Messiah McDonald rushed his effort which again failed to trouble Paul Woolston in the Blyth net.
Blyth were starting to dominate and, following some Dale trickery, both Maguire and Damen Mullen had close range efforts charged down as the hosts defence was proving to be extremely redoubtable.
McDonald continued the Ravens’ pattern of squandering half chances as Woolston again watched as the ball flew harmlessly over his bar.
On the half hour Dale played a sumptuous ball through to Maguire but Bryant was on hand again to block the striker’s effort. Mullen then fired straight in to Cotton’s hands before Rivers just missed the target from 20 yards.
The teams went in at the break 0-0.
The visitors took the game to Coalville after the restart with Cotton producing a fine save from a Maguire effort. The same pair were in the action within minutes with Cotton once more denying the effervescent Maguire.
Coalville were fuming when, after 59 minutes, they had had McDonald sent off following him receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Blyth’s Nathan Buddle. Somewhat bizarrely what followed was a short spell of pressure from the home side. A cross shot looked goal-bound but Woolston’s agility equal to it.
Nevertheless, it was Blyth who took the lead after 74 minutes. Dale had just had one shot blocked after receiving a spectacular 30 yard cross -field ball from Buddle but within minutes he powered in to the penalty box and his fierce low drive was deflected past Cotton to put Blyth one up. The Spartans nearly extended their advantage when Reid volleyed just over the bar and a Dale effort was only just deflected away from goal by the busy Bryant.
With five minutes remaining Coalville launched a final series of attacks which needed some stout defending by Blyth and some brave goalkeeping from Woolston who was called upon to launch himself in to the thick of the action on a couple of occasions.
In added time Blyth substitute Luke Armstrong broke clear, but fired directly at keeper Cotton.
Coalville Town: Cotton, Bryant, Torr, Jenno, Foster, Walshe (Dean 80), Coleman, Towers (McMillan 80), McDonald, Brown, Robbins (Rojewski 80).
Subs not used: Munn, Hornby.
Blyth Spartans: Woolston, Atkinson, Liddle, Mullen, Hutchinson, Buddle, Rivers, Turnbull, Maguire (Armstrong 84), Reid, Dale.
Subs not used: Pell, Bell, Cartwright, McHugh.
Referee: Richard Prior
Spartans Man of the Match: Stephen Turnbull