Tommy Cassidy woke up on Sunday morning with a cold and temperature. Sad for him but rather fitting given that his Blyth side had, once again blown hot and cold, this time against Workington in the FA Cup the day before.
“We need to be more consistent. I’ve been saying this for ages and on Saturday we were poor in the first half, we didn’t pass the ball around, we were second to every ball and Workington were much sharper all round,” said the Spartans manager.
“Then in the second half we were better and I think that if the game had gone on another 15 minutes we would have won it. So that’s a positive sign.”
Cassidy appreciated Joe Kendrick’s honesty with regards to the visitors’ goal.
“Joe held his hands up and apologised in that he should have closed down Will Vaulks quicker,” he said.
Blyth struggled to make any impact in the first 45 minutes but Cassidy was understanding towards his forwards saying that the hardest position in football to play is up front.
The last quarter of the game saw the home crowd really getting behind their side.
Cassidy commented: “The supporters were brilliant. I’d said to the lads after losing to Chorley midweek that we’d let them down and we certainly didn’t want to do that again.”
With the growing backing from the crowd and a late surge it was a relief but somehow not too unexpected when midfielder Tom Berj, ‘diminutive’ is too big a word to describe the young man’s height, sprung to head the equaliser from close range. A truly ‘Jack in the Box’ moment.
“Tom did really well all game – putting himself about with energy and his goal was a good reward,” thought Cassidy.
Looking forward to Tuesday’s replay in Cumbria the Blyth boss said: “The pressure is on them. They are a League higher than us and at home but I think we really do have a chance.”
That chance may be threatened by injuries. Central defender Jordan Mellish will certainly be missing following an unpleasant nasal injury in Saturday’s fixture while Robbie Dale suffered a painful blow to the jaw. Defender Carl Jones is not likely to be fit enough to take to the field.
Cassidy insists that his own health problem will not stop him from being at the replay. A warm reception awaits him at his former club but it will be more about how his standing troops can react in the heat of battle.