BY Stephen Burton
National League football returns to Croft Park for the first time since February as Blyth Spartans host AFC Telford United on Saturday.
Michael Nelson’s men will be hoping to bounce back from Tuesday’s heavy opening day defeat to Guiseley.
Importantly, the clash in Northumberland gives Blyth an opportunity to bounce back and go into the FA Cup game at Marske United in midweek with some momentum.
Gavin Cowan’s side have enjoyed a decent start to the season so far.
After squeezing past Northern Premier League side Chasetown in the FA Cup, The Bucks then kicked off their league campaign by confidently dispatching Brackley Town 3-0 at New Bucks Head.
A key man for the visitors could be striker Jason Oswell, who scored his first goal for the club in midweek.
The summer signing has previous Football League experience with Crewe and Morecambe, and has featured in Europa League qualifying for Welsh club Newtown.
WHAT WE’RE SAYING
Speaking after Tuesday’s defeat, new signing Aaron Cunningham said, “We need to learn from it. We need to look back at everything that’s happened then go into [the Telford game] like a new game and believe we can beat them.
“We need to go back to basics, be more compact and believe we can get the three points.”
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
After the win over Brackley, Gavin Cowan told the club’s website: “It’s a long trip for us so we need to make sure we’re fully prepared for that and it’s going to be a difficult game.
“It’s a phenomenal start for us, it couldn’t have gone any better, but like I said to the lads they should enjoy it, they’re a lively group, but they’ve got a responsibility now to recover in the right way.
”I’m interested in winning games but I’m also interested in winning multiple games back to back and that’s got to be the effort from here on in.”
LAST TIME WE MET
The last encounter between the sides was in January, as Spartans fell to a heavy 4-2 defeat at New Bucks Head.
However, the last meeting at Croft Park was much more positive, with former winger Cal Roberts scoring a hat-trick in a 3-1 win in September 2019.
Issue one of SPARTANS is available on a digital basis only and is available to purchase from our online club shop now.
As per government rules, the game will be played behind closed doors, but supporters of both clubs can watch via our live stream.
Join us from around 2:45pm as our Blyth Live commentators Niall Bromley and Phil Castiaux take you through every kick.
Streaming passes are priced at £8.
In the meantime, if you haven’t already, all you need to do is register with the Insight4 website and purchase the game via the link below.