Preview | Alfreton Town (a) | National League North | 21/22

Blyth Spartans have the chance to complete their first league double of the season on Saturday, as they travel to the Impact Arena to take on Alfreton Town.

Last time out Terry Mitchell guided his side to a third successive home win as they beat Gloucester City 2-0, with JJ O’Donnell and Connor Thomson each getting on the scoresheet.

Spartans also played a midweek friendly against Seaham Red Star, as Mitchell looked to build match fitness amongst his squad ahead of a packed February schedule.

TICKET INFORMATION

Admission for each Vanarama National League North fixture at the Impact Arena during the 2021/22 season is:

  • Adult – £15 (all under 16s with a paying adult are free of charge)
  • Concession (aged 65 and over) – £10
  • 16-21 years-old – £10
  • Student – £10
  • 12-15 years-old – £3
  • Under 12s must be accompanied by an adult to gain entry

Admission to the turnstiles is cash only, but tickets can be pre-purchased online here.

TEAM NEWS

Karl Byrne returns following his one match suspension, there are no new injury concerns in the squad.

MILESTONE

The match against Alfreton could see a debut for new signing Patrick Almond after signing on loan from Sunderland late last week.

OPPOSITION

Despite a difficult start to the season where they lost five of their first six in the league, Billy Heath’s side currently sit in 12th place in National League North, just two points outside the play-offs with a game in hand.

Last time out they were in FA Trophy action against National League leaders Halifax Town and put in an impressive display. The Reds earned a creditable 1-1 draw in normal time with Conor Branson getting on the scoresheet, however the underdogs were defeated 3-2 on penalties.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING

Speaking after Tuesday night’s friendly win, Mitchell said, “They’re just a couple of points off the play-offs so it’ll be a difficult game. We do need to improve our away form, we’ve lost both games I’ve been in charge away from home.

We need to take our game to them but we know it’ll be difficult. In Matt Rhead they have a good strong centre-forward with league experience, a solid midfield, and a good back line, so we’ll need to be at our best to get a result. We’re full of confidence though after Saturday’s win and I’m hopeful we can perform well.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Speaking after the cup exit to Halifax, Heath immediately looked ahead to the clash with Spartans. “The game against Blyth is a huge game, we’ve got to be as focussed then as we were today. We put in probably one of our worst performances when we played them first game of the season, and that was after a fantastic pre-season.

They’ve had a good result today. It looked like they were slipping away at one point but have suddenly started to pick up results. Every game is tough, but coming here on Saturday we’ve got to make sure we get three points.”

LAST TIME WE MET

The sides last met on the opening day of the season, where a second-half brace from JJ O’Donnell secured a 2-0 win as Spartans got their season off to a flyer.

Spartans last trip to the Impact Arena was an FA Trophy Third Round Qualifying Replay in December 2019, where Blyth enjoyed a 3-1 win.

Callum Roberts, Dylan McGlade and Michael Sweet put Blyth 3-0 up at half-time before Amari Morgan-Smith pulled one back in the second-half.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Join Niall Bromley and Phil Castiaux on Blyth Live from 2:45.

Alternatively, you can follow the game via our social media platforms.

Posted by Stephen Burton