Spartans’ manager Paddy Atkinson thought his side weren’t on song on Saturday in the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Frickley. It was indeed an off key performance in which neither side had the other dancing to their tune.
“We actually deserved a point or more,” said Atkinson. “However we have to stop conceding poor goals and start taking our chances. When we are not on song, like on Saturday, we need three or four chances before we score. We don’t seem to have the desire in front of goal. We need strikers who run, chase and are nuisances. We didn’t have that at Frickley.
“Some of the younger lads are basically not listening to what Tom Wade and I tell them, even after going over things again at half time. It didn’t help that the referee realised in the tunnel before the game that he had forgotten his whistle. Some of my lads took the mickey. I didn’t like that and it may not have done us any favours.”
Soon into the game Frickley were awarded a dubious penalty which they converted.
“Joe Kendrick left his foot out, their lad saw it and went down,” said Atkinson. “Their right winger had been giving us problems so I switched Kendrick to a more forward role with Phil Airey reverting to full back. That abated the problems and released Joe who scored with a good header to equalise.”
Blyth went behind again just before the interval.
Atkinson commented: “The lads are hurting. An error led to the opportunity for Allott to scuff his shot which bounced over Conor Grant in our goal.”
The second half did see the visitors up their game but chances went begging.
“The team spirit is good. All the lads get on together but we have to start getting results. It’s all about juggling things both on and off the pitch,” said the Blyth boss. “We are a hard working team and I can’t fault the effort but we lack a bit of quality. The players will run all day but we don’t have experience on the bench to help out when needed.”
The Spartans currently lie in 16th position in the league but Atkinson says the possibility of relegation is ‘not a worry’.
With Buxton visiting Croft Park this weekend Atkinson will be expecting his players to be all singing from the same hymn-sheet in an effort to rise up the league.