By Stephen Burton
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
National League North
Saturday, December 4th 2021
AFC FYLDE 4-1 BLYTH SPARTANS
Terry Mitchell’s first match in charge ended in defeat as 10-man Blyth fell to a 4-1 defeat to league leaders AFC Fylde.
Fylde went ahead on 20 minutes through an own-goal from Nathan Buddle, before Sam Osborne doubled their lead a couple of minutes later.
Nick Haughton put the hosts three-up just before half-time before scoring a fine long-range effort five minutes after the break.
Blyth were forced to play out the last 15 minutes with ten men as Rhys Evans was sent off, but JJ O’Donnell salvaged a consolation from the penalty spot five minutes from time.
Mitchell, named the one change from the side that lost narrowly to York City last weekend, with Lewis McNall replacing the injured Robbie Dale, and new signing Sado Djalo starting on the bench.
It was the home side who had the first attempt of the game within two minutes as Osborne cut inside Jordan Watson but his effort was straight at Alex Mitchell.
Spartans were soon down the other end as a free kick from Nicky Deverdics eventually found it’s way to JJ O’Donnell but his shot on the turn flew wide.
Fylde had most of the ball in the opening stages without causing Blyth many problems, however they did show flashes of the quality that has made them league leaders, as Haughton showed a sign of things as he curled an effort from the edge of the box that was well saved by Mitchell.
Shortly after, the hosts took the lead in fortunate circumstances. Kieran Lloyd found space wide on the right and his low cross took a wicked deflection off Buddle and into the bottom corner.
Within minutes Spartans were two-down when Osborne was sent through on goal by Haughton and dinked the ball over Mitchell.
The home side were firmly in the ascendancy and nearly scored a spectacular third just two minutes later as the dangerous Haughton whipped a viscous 30-yard free kick off the upright.
Blyth did manage to steady the ship but struggled to create, aside from speculative long-range efforts from McNall and Connor Thomson.
Haughton though showed his quality again, as he skipped past one tackle in the centre of the park and fired another long range effort, only to be again denied by the woodwork.
Blyth did go close soon after as Watson fired wide from the edge of the box after good play by JJ O’Donnell.
However it was Fylde who scored next, as Haughton picked up a loose pass and ran at the Blyth defence before firing into the bottom corner.
Blyth made a promising start to the second-half but were hit by a sucker-punch as Haughton got his second through a spectacular swerving effort from long range.
Just a minute later Spartans did register their first effort on target but Nicky Deverdics’ low shot was straight at Jones.
Following a period of possession Blyth forced a corner, which Sean Reid headed wide as Spartans began to put the home side under pressure.
Fylde however, were still a threat as Haughton again caused problems. This time he found space on the edge of the area, only this time his shot flew high and wide.
As the game petered out Blyth’s miserable afternoon got worse as Evans found himself unlucky to be shown a straight red 15 minutes from time.
Although they were reduced to ten, Spartans showed great determination. Five minutes from time a good run from Thomson forced a corner from which Blyth were awarded a penalty.
O’Donnell made no mistake from the spot as he provided at least some cheer for the travelling Blyth support.
Spartans return to action next Saturday as Southport make the trip to Croft Park.
AFC Fylde | Jones, Conlan, Nolan, Obi, Tollitt (Hulme 79′), Haughton (Robinson 72’), Osborne (Walker 64’), Joyce ©, Sampson, Stott, Lloyd
Subs not used | Neal, J. Byrne
Goals | Buddle (OG) 20’, Osborne 23’, Haughton 43’, 50’
Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Evans, Reid, Buddle ©, Watson (Liddle 68’), O’Donnell, K. Byrne (Hickey 52’), McNall (Maguire 56’), Deverdics, Lees, Thomson
Subs not used | Painter, Djalo
Goals | O’Donnell 85’
Referee | Peter Shacklady