Preview | Alfreton will be a ‘great barometer’ says Clark

Blyth Spartans manager Lee Clark says Saturday’s FA Trophy clash with Alfreton Town will be a “great barometer” to see how far his team have come since the start of the season. 

Clark’s men begin their FA Trophy campaign at home to their National League North counterparts, having already faced The Reds this campaign. 

During Clark’s second game in-charge, Spartans were beaten comfortably by Alfreton at the Impact Arena, however plenty has changed since then.

Blyth, now possessing the likes of Callum Roberts, Lewis Hawkins and Jack Hunter, have seen an upturn in form and were five league games unbeaten before the Boston United loss. 

And Clark believes facing a team they have already come up against this term will give him a good indication of just how far his side have come. 

Clark said: “It is a great barometer for me to see the difference because we lost the previous game in every aspect. We got bullied. We got outfought. We got outplayed. 

“It was one of the most disappointing days in what was a very tough start for us. Our performance on Saturday will give a good indication of how far we have come. 

“Hopefully I do get the opportunity to bring one or two lads back and put out what we consider – with the players we have – to be our strongest 11 and have a real good go at Alfreton.” 

On the sidelines during midweek was Tom Devitt, Robbie Dale, Adam Wrightson and long-term absentee Scott Fenwick. 

And the former Fulham midfielder hopes to see those players make their comeback from injury in a competition he wants to take very seriously. 

“We’re missing Tom (Devitt), Robbie (Dale), Adam (Wrightson) – those players are important players for us,” the 47-year-old admitted. 

“I said when we started our FA Cup campaign, the FA Trophy and Northumberland Senior Cup are important and we want to be successful. 

“Hopefully we get the chance to put our strongest side out.”

Throughout the afternoon, Blyth Spartans will have a bucket collection in memory of former player Keith Mills. We ask supporters to donate to the fantastic cause, if possible. 

Meanwhile, tickets for our Christmas party and Christmas raffle remain on sale. These can be purchased from the clubhouse and club shop.

Posted by Jordan Cronin