Preview | Bishop’s Stortford (A) | National League North | 2023/24

Blyth Spartans are set for one of their longest away trips this season as they travel to the RDA Stadium to face Bishop’s Stortford.

The match on Saturday will kick off at 1 pm due to a fulfilment of the reciprocal agreement in place which was set earlier in the season.

In their last outing, the Spartans defeated local rivals South Shields 2-1 as JJ Hooper’s 91st-minute winner against his former club secured three points for Blyth.


All ticket information is as follows:

  • Adults – £15
  • Concessions – £10
  • Students (ID required) – £8
  • Under-12s are admitted for free when accompanied by a paying adult.


Jon Shaw has added Sunderland under-21 forward, Harry Gardiner, to his side, while Elliot Forbes has signed a permanent deal running until the end of the season following the expiration of his contract with Gateshead; both will be in contention to feature on Saturday afternoon.

Lewis Knight and Cedric Main have returned to their respective parent clubs, Gateshead and York City following the end of their loan deals.

JJ Hooper returned to the squad last weekend to face off against his former club, South Shields, where he scored an injury-time winner at Croft Park.

JJ O’Donnell, Alex Mitchell, and Harry Arnison remain out of action due to injury.


After his first game in charge since taking the managerial role at Blyth, Jon Shaw said: “I’m not a big celebrater I was never a massive one as I never celebrated my own goals, but when that ball hit the back of the net I think I let loose a little bit more than I normally do.

“I think the emotion, the crowd, who we were playing against and the timing of the goal and what it meant was massive.

“It’s been a hell of a couple of days obviously for myself, first official home game and first official game as manager, so yeah it’s a hell of a time to score but more importantly it’s points on the board and the performance from the boys was outstanding.”

Jon Shaw’s post-match assessment of Saturday’s 2-1 win over South Shields


The Blues were promoted in 2023 as Champions to the National League North from the Isthmian League Premier Division, which covers Greater London, East and South-East England. The Blues have played at Level 6 in the English pyramid before, most recently playing in the National League South/Conference South between 2004 and 2017, with two seasons spent in the Conference North (now National League North) between 2011 and 2013

Bishop’s Stortford now sit bottom of the National League North with 17 points after 25 games having won one of their last nine league games.


Following their 4-2 defeat against Peterborough Sports, Steve Smith said: “It’s a really tough one to take, we came to the game and went one up then went one-all and then had to come out for the second half.

“I thought first half we were brilliant and I think the referee has killed us as just before half time he gave a free kick and more or less apologised to me at half time and said he made the wrong decision.”

Steve Smith’s post-match assessment of Saturday’s 4-2 defeat against Peterborough Sports


The sides met for the first time in October as the Spartans won 3-0 at Croft Park thanks to goals from Nicky Deverdics, Jon Shaw and Cedric Main.

The Blues also saw Anyne Godfrinne and Tobias Braney both receive red cards and were sent off on the day.


You can follow all of the action on Saturday afternoon via our social media platforms and BlythLive on Mixlr from 12:45pm.

National League TV will also be streaming the tie – you can purchase a match pass here.

Posted by Ben Lightfoot