Preview | Alfreton Town (h) | National League North | 22/23

Blyth Spartans return to league action this Saturday as we welcome Alfreton Town to Croft Park.

Last time out Graham Fenton’s side produced a stunning second-half performance but fell just short in a 3-2 defeat at Wrexham in their FA Cup replay. After going in 3-0 down at half-time, JJ O’Donnell and Michael Richardson scored early second-half goals to threaten an almighty comeback at The Racecourse Ground.

TICKET INFORMATION

  • Tickets can be purchased in advance via our online system.
  • If you do not have online access, you can purchase your ticket by ringing the club office on 01670 352373 and paying with a debit or credit card. Your ticket can then be collected from the social club on match day.
  • We will operate a cash turnstile. However we strongly encourage you to purchase your ticket in advance.
  • Tickets purchased in advance must be printed or stored on your phone. Without proof of ticket, you will not be permitted into Croft Park.
  • Advanced tickets can be bought up until 2pm on a matchday.
  • Should you wish to sit in the Port of Blyth Stand, you should purchase in advance.
  • This season sees the return of our half-time draw, with tickets available at our new kiosk, with cash and card payments accepted.

TEAM NEWS

There are still numerous injury worries, with Lewis McNall, Nathan Buddle and Danny Barlow ruled out. Cedric Main and Michael Liddle both missed Tuesday’s match in Wales and will be assessed before Saturday, as will Alex Nicholson who will be hopeful of a return to the squad.

There is some good news however, as Josh Scott returns to the squad after being cup-tied.

THE OPPOSITION

The Reds currently sit in 10th place in National League North with 17 points from their 12 games so far, and are within one point of the play-off places.

Last time out Billy Heath’s side suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Gloucester, with Danny Preston getting on the scoresheet for the hosts.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING

Speaking after Tuesday’s defeat, Fenton was full of pride for his players. “I’m so proud of them. The way we went about it for the majority of the game was magnificent. I think we showed a bit of inexperienced first-half and I think the occasion got to one or two. We went from 1-0 to 3-0 pretty quickly, not from great play from them but mistakes from us and they’ve capitalised as they’re good players.

But what happened in the second-half – nothing but pride. They were magnificent to a man, in the effort, commitment, quality, composure – all the stuff we’ve been looking for came together. We deserved to win that second-half 2-0 and another day we could’ve got the equaliser.

We need to take a lot of stuff from the last two games. They’ve a new bar for themselves and they need to get to that minimum in every game they put the shirt on.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

After defeat to Gloucester last weekend, Heath gave his verdict on his side’s performance. “The first-half performance was the poorest display all season. There was a good response second-half and asked a lot of questions, but the damage was done first-half and overall our lack of quality in the last third was evident.

We need to make sure we roll our sleeves up and get three points next week, as it is massive next week. It’s a tough place to go Blyth, it’ll be a very tough game.”

LAST TIME WE MET

Spartans did the double over Alfreton last season, with Dan Maguire grabbing the only goal of the game when the sides last met at the Impact Arena in January.

The sides met at Croft Park on the opening day of last season with JJ O’Donnell scoring a second-half brace in what was the first competitive game with fans at Croft Park since the start of the pandemic.

MEDIA COVERAGE

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

Alternatively you can follow the game via our social media channels.

Posted by Stephen Burton