BY Stephen Burton
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Monday August 26, 2019
Blyth Spartans 1-4 Guiseley
Aaron Martin scored twice as Guiseley took the points in 4-1 victory at Croft Park, which leaves Spartans still searching for their first win of the season.
Despite an even first half, Spartans fell behind on 38 minutes as Lee Shaw fired low past Nathan Harker from the edge of the box.
The visitors then doubled their advantage just before the hour mark as Martin headed home a corner, before an unfortunate own goal by Lewis Ritson made it 3-0 eight minutes later.
Robbie Dale pulled one back with a smart finish on 70 minutes but any faint hopes of a Spartans comeback were extinguished just five minutes later as Martin grabbed his second from the penalty spot.
After earning a point at Bradford PA on Saturday, Spartans were left counting the cost of a number of injuries as Lee Clark could only name three substitutes.
However this did not prevent Spartans starting strongly, with Scott Fenwick firing over from a decent position within the first minute.
The hosts then had claims for a penalty as Fenwick looked to have been fouled by Guiseley stopper George Sykes-Kenworthy as they challenged for a high ball, only for the referee James Westgate to signal for a Guiseley free kick, much to the dismay of the home support.
The visitors began to grow into the game and after 24 minutes almost took the lead through Aram Soleman, but he could only fire over from eight yards.
Both sides looked dangerous in an open game, but it was the visitors who struck first after breaking from a Spartans corner. Sykes-Kenworthy claimed well and launched a quick throw out to Shaw who bared down on the Spartans defence before cutting inside and slotting past Harker into the bottom corner.
Before the half was out Guiseley had two more chances to double their advantage, with Martin wasting the first when he put a point blank header wide, and then Harker was on hand to produce a fantastic stop when Shaw was put through on goal.
Spartans started the second half well and Adam Wrightson almost grabbed an equalizer on 48 minutes but he could not quite get the decisive touch as Dale played the ball across goal.
The hosts began to put Guiseley under pressure but were undone on the hour mark when Soleman’s corner was headed in by an unmarked Martin, who atoned for his earlier miss.
Spartans then conceded an unfortunate third just nine minutes later. The impressive Harker pulled out a fine stop from Martin, only for the ball to be hit back into the danger area where the ball ricocheted off Lewis Ritson into the net.
Dale provided Spartans with some hope just one minute later as he made no mistake when one-on-one with Sykes-Kenworthy, and the comeback almost appeared on as Wrightson fired an effort across goal only for Olly Scott to come within inches of converting into an empty net.
However, as the crowd sensed a grandstand finish, hope was ultimately extinguished on 75 minutes as the referee awarded visitors a penalty after a foul on Martin, with the Guiseley striker tucking away from 12 yards and securing all three points for the visitors.
Spartans’ defeat leaves them at the foot of the table with one point from their first six games ahead of Saturday’s trip to Leamington.
Spartans: Harker, Horner (Evans, 78), Scott, Hutchinson (Orrell, 44), Ritson, Devitt, Wrightson, Robson, Fenwick, Mouanda, Dale. Sub not used: Foden.
Goal: Dale (69)
Guiseley: Sykes-Kensworthy, McNally, Nicholson, Barkers, Bencherif, Garner, Shaw (Scrivens, 87), Spencer, Martin, Soleman, Johnson. Subs not used: Clayton. Allinson, Starcenko, Digie.
Goals: Shaw (38), Martin (58, 74), Ritson OG (67)
Referee: James Westgate