Preview | Leamington (H) | National League North | 21/22

By Stephen Burton

Blyth Spartans are back in action at Croft Park this Saturday – and hope to return to winning ways against Leamington.

Michael Nelson’s side had an afternoon to forget last weekend as they were thrashed 4-0 away to York City – their sixth straight defeat in all competitions.


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Dan Maguire picked up a groin injury in the defeat at York, so will be assessed ahead of kick-off.

Paul Holleran, who’s just a couple of weeks short of his 12th anniversary in charge of Leamington, has overseen a steady start to the term with his side sitting in 11th place in National League North.

The Brakes have struggled in recent weeks however, winning just one of their last eight games in all competitions. They’re also yet to pick up an away win so far in the league this season.

Last time out, Holleran’s side secured a creditable 1-1 draw away to AFC Telford, with forward Kaiman Anderson equalising to salvage a point.

Speaking to BSAFCTV, Michael Nelson was unhappy with his side’s performance and was hoping for a reaction in front of a home crowd at Croft Park.

He said: “The nature of the performance was disappointing. We thought the performance lacked commitment and passion and that’s something we’ve got to get back into the lads.

“The lads’ confidence has taken a bit of a knock with losing games on the bounce. It’s up to us a staff to put the sessions on and give them the right information to ensure that is built back up.

“We’re back at home, where we have been good overall. We want to put in a performance like we did in the first couple of games at home against Alfreton and Telford.”

Holleran told the club’s website after their draw with Telford: “Our substitutes made the difference today, and that was always going to happen with us having travelled to Darlington last Saturday, playing Farsley on Tuesday and then coming to Telford today – there’s going to be some tired legs out there.

“It was an entertaining game, we’ve kept the points board ticking over, and it’s been a good week for us with some good individual performances.

“The week’s rest before the trip up to Blyth is needed – it gives us the chance to rest some bruised and battered bodies and gradually build it up over the week.”

Due to the league curtailment, the last clash between the sides was all the way back in August 2019, on that occasion Leamington enjoyed a 2-0 home win.

Over the last five meetings, Leamington have edged it with three wins to Spartans’ two, with Blyth’s last win coming in February 2019 away to the Brakes. Spartans ran out 2-1 winners that day with early goals from Kieran Green and Dan Maguire securing the points.

Blyth’s last victory at Croft Park was a narrow 1-0 win in September 2017 with an own-goal from still-serving Leamington defender Junior English gifting Spartans the win.

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

Alternatively, you can follow the game via our social media platforms.

Posted by BSAFC Admin