BY Stephen Burton
Blyth Spartans round off the August bank holiday with a trip to Farsley Celtic as they look to continue their promising start to the National League North season.
Michael Nelson’s side made it two wins out of two at Croft Park after beating AFC Telford United 2-0 on Saturday.
Indeed, it took until the 86th minute for Spartans to beat an in-form Bucks goalkeeper as Robbie Dale scored his first competitive goal since ending his retirement before an own goal in stoppage time sealed the three points.
Spartans will be looking to get their first points on the road this season at the Citadel but in Farsley, they’ll be facing a side who’ve made an unbeaten start to the season.
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Rhys Evans could make his 50th appearance for Spartans. The right-back joined from Newcastle Benfield in 2019.
The Celts needed a late goal from Luke Parkin on Saturday to maintain their unbeaten start as they drew 1-1 away to Kettering Town.
Adam Lakeland’s side have won one and drawn two so far and currently sit just once place below Spartans in sixth place in the fledgling National League North table.
WHAT WE’RE SAYING
Looking ahead to the game, Nelson told BSAFTV: “We’ll look at the lads and see how they are.
“We want people going in there 100%, if anyone’s got any niggles we can put someone else in to give them a rest. But no one wants to come out of a winning team.
“It’s a squad game, the lads who are coming off the bench are delivering and so are the players who are starting are delivering – they just have to keep it going now.”
Dale, after starring against Telford, added: “I always want to play.
“We’ve got a quick recovery but it’s always easier when you’ve won a game.
“We’ve got to be going there looking to win the game and keep a clean sheet again.”
LAST TIME WE MET
Since the Celts’ promotion to National League North in 2019, the clubs have met three times.
Each side has enjoyed a 2-0 home win against the other, with the last clash in November 2020 ending in a 1-1 draw at Croft Park, thanks to an injury time equaliser from Paul Blackett.
Spartans XI: Young, Sakellaropoulos, Charlton (McKeown, 53), Elsdon, Cunningham, Cain, Thomson, Heslop (Dart, 90), Blackett, Gbolahan (Griffiths, 45), Guy. Subs not used: Russell, Taylor.
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