By Stuart Dick
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday November 18 2017
Southport 0-3 Blyth Spartans
Blyth Spartans made it back to back wins in the Vanarama National League North with a 3-0 win at the Merseyrail Community Stadium, securing their second straight clean sheet in the process.
Second half goals from Michael Liddle and Greg Rutherford were added to in injury time when Sean Reid converted a penalty after a handball in the area.
The result moves Spartans up to fourth in the National League North tables as they head into the FA Trophy opener against Stalybridge Celtic next Saturday.
The visitors were on top from the first minute of the game, creating numerous chances in the first 45 minutes. Adam Wrightson forcing a corner in the opening salvos, it coming to nothing.
The first guilt edge chance fell to Jarrett Rivers when he swivelled in the penalty and lashed an effort on target – Jon Worsnop on hand to palm the ball away.
With a quarter of an hour played, Robbie Dale – who tormented Southport right-back Dominic Smith all afternoon – nutmegged the full-back before pulling the ball back for Damen Mullen to strike just wide from the edge of the area.
Three minutes later Spartans misses another two opportunities. Firstly, Sean Reid forced a fine save from Worsnop before Rivers sliced the rebound wide of the target.
Credit to Southport, they turned the tables on their visitors for a ten-minute period midway through the first period. Jordan Hallam with the best opportunity fizzing a right footed volley from 22 yards out just over the crossbar.
But Blyth were soon on top once again, and almost took the lead on 28 minutes. Jarrett Rivers cross was met by the head of Nathan Buddle – guiding his effort onto the crossbar.
An early substitution in the 38th minute. saw Greg Rutherford replace Adam Wrightson, who took a knock early on. The former Berwick man almost proved an instant hit – millimetres away from finishing a Dale cross.
With five minutes remaining in the first period, Peter Jameson was called into action. An effort from the edge of the area deflected off a Spartan defender, Jameson just getting back in time to tip the strike over the crossbar.
Spartans started the second half with the same intent they showed in the first and got their reward on 54 minutes. Dale the provider finding Liddle who finished with aplomb for his second goal of the season.
The second followed seven minutes later. Rivers breaking down the right flank before clipping in a cross onto the head of Rutherford who powered home for his first goal in a Spartans shirt.
As the second period progressed, Spartans continued to dominate proceedings, but produced very few chances of note. It wasn’t until injury time that Spartans added to their lead, a Southport player adjudged to of handled the ball in the penalty area.
Sean Reid stepped up – with Dale Hopson already having being substituted – converting to give the Green Army yet another happy away day.
Blyth Spartans: Jameson; Atkinson, Buddle, Hutchinson, Liddle; Mullen (McTiernan 88), Reid; Rivers, Hopson (Green 76), Dale ©; Wrightson (Rutherford 37).
Unused: MacDonald, I Watson
Southport: Worsnop, Smith, White, Lynch, Dugdale, Jones, Hallam, Lowe, Hine (Kissock 68), Sampson (Cockerline 64), Anderson (Jackson 58).
Unused: Morgan, Sykes