Report by Phil Castiaux
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division
Saturday 12th March 2016
Blyth Spartans 0 – 1 Halesowen Town
The Spartans were looking to get back to winning ways after the one nil reverse at Sutton Coldfield last weekend.
Blyth went in to the game without defender Ryan Hutchinson who broke his wrist during training earlier in the week and the injured Matty Wade.
The early pressure came from the visitors with Blyth’s Nathan Buddle being called upon on more than one occasion to clear the danger.
Halesowen came close to taking the lead after 12 minutes when Tyree Clark set up Kaiman Anderson but the striker’s volley was fisted away by Adam McHugh, the Spartans’ keeper.
Blyth had their own chances. An Arran Wearmouth right wing cross found the head of Wilson Kneeshaw six yards from goal but his effort cleared the bar. Then a surging run by Alex Nicholson left three defenders in its wake but the fullback scuffed his left foot shot wide of the post. Blyth continued to have marginally the better of the game and a strong Robbie Dale run found Nicholson in space but his first time cross was just too strong for Wearmouth to latch on to.
Blyth had a good shout for a penalty in the 35th minute when Wearmouth appeared to be bundled over just inside the 18 yard box.
Referee Ellis waved play on and Halesowen capitalised by storming forward and good passing between Ashley Parsons- Smith and Anderson set up Clark with time to slot past McHugh and give his side the lead.
The Spartans responded and within minutes came close to equalising but Sean Reid’s effort was cleared off the line by Lewis Bradley.
Straight after the break another Reid effort was again cleared off the Halesowen goal line.
Play was scrappy but it was Blyth who had most of the possession, with the visitors disrupting the flow of the game.
Dale wriggled his was down the left wing but his low drive was well collected by Daniel Platt in the Halesowen goal. Dale again had an effort saved by Platt before a great opportunity to equalise went begging. Kneeshaw turned smartly in the penalty box and found Buddle eight yards from goal but the central defender’s right footed effort was dragged just wide of Platt’s post.
Blyth’s Damen Mullen fired in to the side netting from 22 yards before, in added time, it looked like Blyth’s efforts had been rewarded when a precise Dale cross was met by Wearmouth at the far post. His header appeared to be going in to the top corner of the net before Platt brilliantly flung himself across to palm away.
A final flourish for the home side saw Kneeshaw volley over.
Despite the defeat Blyth are still seven points clear of Darlington although the latter have four games in hand on the Croft Park outfit.
Blyth’s next home game is on March 19th when Matlock Town visit Croft Park. Kickoff is at 3.00pm.
Blyth Spartans: 1. Adam McHugh, 2. Alex Nicholson, 3. Jordan Watson, 4. Nathan Buddle, 5. Dillon Morse, 6. Damen Mullen, 7. Arran Wearmouth, 8. Paul Robinson (12. Michael Richardson 70), 9. Wilson Kneeshaw, 10. Sean Reid (17. Daniel Maguire 60), 11. Robert Dale (capt.)
Unused subs: 14. Danny Parker, 15. Neal Hooks, 16. Andrew Cartwright
Halesowen Town: 1. Daniel Pratt, 2. Lewis Bradley (16. Daniel Sweeney 45), 3. Aaron Griffiths (12. Luke Connolly 36), 4. Jay Denny (capt.), 5. Kyle Morrison, 6. Ashley Parsons-Smith, 7. Asa Charlton, 8. Daniel Bragoli, 9. Kaiman Anderson (15. George Forsyth 75), 10. Malcolm Melvin, 11. Tyree Clark
Unused sub: 14. Michael Turner
Referee: Chris Ellis, Assistants: Stephen Rutherford and Alex Clark