By Glen Maxwell
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Saturday August 20 2016
Halesowen Town 0-5 Blyth Spartans
Blyth Spartans put on a five-star display at The Grove – as Matty Pattison and Daniel Maguire inspired a resounding win over ten-men Halesowen Town.
Pattison opened his Spartans account with a fantastic 25-yard free-kick, before Daniel Bragoli was dismissed for a second yellow card at the end of the first half.
Maguire’s two goals came either side of Pattison’s second and a header from defender Ryan Hutchinson in a fascinating ten minutes spell after the hour – as Blyth dominated their hosts for most of the second half.
Spartans started proceedings under light showers, forcing the droves of Blyth fans to huddle under the roof of The Shed stand at the The Grove. Some brave souls opted to switch ends when the two sides did following the coin toss and were rewarded instantly with glorious sunshine, in a moment that summed up the changing conditions throughout the afternoon.
Both sides started in a scrappy fashion, which was proved when the first real action of the match resulted in the game’s first booking. Daniel Bragoli slid in hard on Sean Reid on halfway, with referee Sam Mullhall opting to show a yellow card after just six minutes.
The first chance for either side fell to the Yelts four minutes later – as Aaron Griffiths intercepts a loose Spartans pass and ran at Andrew Cartwright. Halesowen’s left-back cut inside and pulled the trigger at the edge of the box, but Peter Jeffries was able to claim it comfortably.
Blyth looked to create an opening for themselves after 13 minutes. Matty Pattison tried to pick out Robert Dale in the box from the right, but his cross went just over the talismanic winger’s head.
Halesowen then thought they had broken the deadlock from a corner. Malcolm Melvin played the ball to the back post and picked out Richard Sho-Silva, but he could only power a header wide.
The visitors had taken a while to get going, but soon had a number of chances to score through Sean Reid. Reid saw his first shot charged down after being played in from some great work by Michael Liddle, before he was denied a near post header from Pattison’s cross by some last-ditch defending.
Blyth could sense that a breakthrough was coming and, when it came in the 24th minute, it was more than worth the wait.
Pattison stepped up to take a free-kick from about 25 yards out and curled an effort into the top corner, giving Daniel Platt no chance – as the former Newcastle United and South Africa midfielder opened his Spartans account in spectacular fashion.
Blyth looked to continue their dominance after going a goal up, but a lapse in concentration in midfield just after the half-hour mark almost cost Spartans their lead.
Lee Chilton picked the ball after a poor touch from Matthew Wade and sent in a searching ball to the back post, looking for Melvin. The right winger was free to nod in with the goal at his mercy, but Jeffries did brilliantly to get across his goal and pull off a fantastic save to deny the hosts an equaliser.
Town’s woes would be compounded with one minute to go in the first half, when they were reduced to ten men. Bragoli appeared to catch Stephen Turnbull late in the air with an elbow, leading to the midfielder receiving his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Spartans looked to make their man advantage count straight from the restart, as Pattison drilled in a low cross to the near post. However, Platt was more than alert to the danger and was able to get down to gather it.
As the second half started to drop into a lull, the very vocal travelling band of Spartans supporters were soon shouting for a penalty, when Maguire was knocked to the ground by Asa Charlton while chasing down Kyle Morrison’s loose backpass. However, Mullhall was quick to dismiss the claims.
Pattison then went close to scoring a second, when he blasted the ball towards goal from the right two minutes later. However, Platt was more than equal to it though, as he palmed the shot to safety.
The Halesowen keeper made an error just after the hour mark, however, which resulted in a second goal for Blyth.
Dale danced around Morrison, before drilling a shot straight at Platt. However, he spilled the ball and “Nipa” lived up to his nickname – as he nipped in to stab home his first goal of the season.
Spartans were then celebrating again just four minutes later. Turnbull crossed back in after seeing his corner come back to him and Hutchinson lept up to glance in a lovely looping header.
The visitors continued to turn the knife on their opponents with a third goal in just seven minutes.
Andrew Cartwright cut the ball back in the box after a driving run from the right, which should have been cleared by the Halesowen defence. Their hesitation allowed Pattison to take advantage and blast home his second of the afternoon from close range.
Maguire then thought he’d scored a brace of his own, when substitute Michael Richardson played him in with a lovely touch past the defender. Maguire fizzed a shot past Platt, but he could only watch as it clattered off the post and then Michael Liddle fired the rebound wide.
The prolific striker was not to be denied though and it would be Richardson who would provide for him again with 16 minutes to go. The former Newcastle United midfielder played the ball into feet – allowing Maguire to run at the defence and then drill a low shot into the corner, past Platt’s outstretched fingertips.
With time running out, Pattison played a great ball through to Maguire – as the striker went looking for his hat-trick. A jinking run had the defenders on the back foot, but they were able to get a block in to deny Maguire a third.
Spartans manager Tom Wade will be delighted with his side’s dominating display and will hope they can keep up this level of performance when they welcome Ashton United to Croft Park on Tuesday evening.
Halesowen Town: Platt, Sho-Silva, Griffiths (Colley 46), Denny, Morrison, Charlton, Melvin, Bragoli, Anderson (Chiriac 36), Clarke (Williams 89), Chilton.
Subs not used: Turner, King.
Blyth Spartans: Jeffries, Cartwright, Liddle, Caines, Hutchinson, Turnbull, Pattison, Wade (Rivers 57), Maguire, Reid (Richardson 69), Dale (Armstrong 77).
Subs not used:, Parker, Pell.
Spartans Man of the Match: Matty Pattison
Wade: Spartans’ Strength Inspired Halesowen Demolition
Blyth boss Tom Wade was delighted with his side’s strength in depth on Saturday – as a change in personnel saw Spartans romp to a 5-0 win at Halesowen Town.
Nathan Buddle’s suspension saw him replaced by debutant Gavin Caines in the heart of the defence, but Wade also opted to bring son Matthew into the midfield – at the expense of former Newcastle United midfielder Michael Richardson – to help out the Blyth backline.
And the Spartans manager was glad to see his change of tactic work wonders – as Blyth put the home side to the sword in the second half, following Daniel Bragoli’s second yellow card just before the break.
Wade said: “We changed the team around. We brought Wadey [Matthew Wade] in to help us defensively, which allowed Matty Pattison, [Stephen] Turnbull and Reidy [Sean Reid] to get on the ball a bit more and I thought it worked well.
“Michael was unlucky not to start. However, we said, away from home, that we have to be a bit stronger and then we can put our flair players on nearer the end.
“You look at the bench and you realise we’re in a very lucky position to be able to change the team around and still have a strong side.
“Blyth is a phenomenal place to be at the moment. It’s good that we change the side up and still be able to cause teams harm from the bench as well.
Pattison scored a superb first half free-kick on his way to two goals, while Daniel Maguire also grabbed a brace following the restart. A header from Ryan Hutchinson completed the rout, but Wade was impressed with the performances from all of his players.
He added: “It was encouraging that Patts was able to get a couple of goals, [Jarrett] Rivers looked sharp and Danny Maguire is on fire once again. He could have had a hat-trick, had he not been denied by the post late on.
“I was glad to see Hutchy get on the scoresheet as well, so it was a good day all round.
“I thought our forward play throughout the game was outstanding. The best thing is that Robbie Dale looked like he was happy again and was starting to play a bit more – as he can win us matches on his own when he’s playing at his best.”
Despite seeing some fantastic strikes on their way to a five-goal winning margin, Wade was still left wanting more – as he wished Spartans had capped a “superb” piece of play with a third goal from Maguire.
Wade explained: “The one where Nipa hit the post would have been goal of the season had it gone in. The movement and build-up play was superb.
“As I say, the goal that got away would have been the best of the lot. Our performance all afternoon was nothing short of outstanding though.”
Spartans now sit in third place in the Evo-Stik Premier Division following Saturday’s win, but they will face a much tougher test when they welcome league leaders Ashton United to Blyth on Tuesday night.
And Wade knows just how impressive Ashton are, but he has called on the Spartans supporters to turn up in their droves and cheer their side on to another victory – after praising them for their part in the 5-0 demolition job at The Grove.
Wade said: “Ashton will be a tough game. We won 2-0 at their place last season and then drew 1-1 at Croft Park, but I thought they were the better side at our place and could have quite easily won that game.
“We’ve got a couple of injuries to look at and Buddle’s still suspended, so we’ll have to look at what we can do.
“A big crowd is the most important thing and a vocal crowd is massive for us, to push us on – as the lads will be a little bit tired. The crowd can be our twelfth man though and that showed at Halesowen.
“I thought the supporters that travelled down to cheer us on were fantastic, so we’re looking for that at home again as well.
“We’re ready for it and we’re ready for every game. I think the lads are looking forward to every game that comes along.
“We’re still only about 60 per cent fitness wise and team wise compared to where we should be, so we’ve got a long way to go to be as good as we can be. It’s a good sign we’re playing well despite not having full fitness, but we’re ready for everything Ashton throw at us.”