BY Liam O’Brien
Blyth Spartans face Curzon Ashton this Saturday with their eyes set on gaining their first points on the road this season.
Michael Nelson’s men put in an improved display at Kidderminster Harriers last time out but sadly had no points to show for it.
A trip to the Tameside Stadium will hopefully provide a better outcome as Blyth search for their first league win of the campaign.
Liam Agnew and Rhys Evans are recovering well, however the trip to Greater Manchester will come a little too soon for the pair.
Paul Blackett is out of self isolation with Gateshead and will be assessed ahead of kick-off.
Olly Scott remains a long-term absentee.
Curzon Ashton currently sit 11th in the league after one win, two draws and two defeats from their opening five games.
Those two losses have come in their last two games with Steve Cunningham’s side losing 2-1 away to Chester then 3-0 at home to Darlington.
Former Boston United striker Dominic Knowles has scored five goals so far. He will be a player that Blyth will have to look out for.
WHAT WE’RE SAYING
Previewing the game on blythspartans.com, Nelson said: “You don’t know what to expect from clubs at this stage of the season, Curzon have brought in some good players over the summer.
“We’ve watched them in recent games and they look strong, but we go into every game hoping to break teams down and get a positive result.
“That won’t change going into this game.”
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Curzon boss Cunningham told Nash TV after the 3-0 defeat to Darlington: “We’ve tried to be a footballing team but we’re not good enough to do it, so why continue to keep doing it?
“The most successful teams that have gone on to win things in our league have been quite direct, played the ball in good areas and played in around teams’ 18-yard box.
“That’s something we’ve got to look at. That’s not shape, that’s down to personnel and not being good enough. We’re going to change that.
“If it means us mixing up our game and going a bit more direct and being an ugly team, that is what we’re going to have to do.”
LAST TIME WE MET
Blyth faced Curzon four times last season – winning three and drawing one.
Callum Roberts’ hat-trick contributed to a 4-4 draw in the FA Cup before Michael Sweet’s strike settled the replay at Croft Park.
Levi Amantchi’s winner recorded a 1-0 victory in National League North at the Tameside Stadium, while Robbie Dale’s brace sealed a 2-1 win in Northumberland.
We hope to bring you Blyth Live coverage, courtesy of commentary from Niall Bromley and Phil Castiaux (subject to confirmation).
The plan is to get underway 2:45pm ahead of the 3pm kick-off.
Curzon are live streaming the tie. Visit their website for full details.