BY Jordan Cronin
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday November 7th 2020
CURZON ASHTON 0-3 BLYTH SPARTANS
An all-round team performance earned Blyth Spartans their first win of the season with Paul Blackett netting a brace on his return to the side.
Blackett made his return to the starting XI, replacing Priestley Griffiths in Blyth’s defeat at Kidderminster Harriers.
Both sides had their fair share of possession in the first-half, with Curzon carving out the first opportunity of the afternoon.
Paul Turnbull’s free-kick was struck into the path of Dom Knowles, who touched it down for Oliver Southern, but he fired off target from close-range.
Chances for few and far between but a well-worked corner from Spartans broke the deadlock at the Tameside Stadium.
Michael Cain’s floated delivery was superbly headed back across goal by Aaron Cunningham with Kris Thackray heading home from close on 35 minutes.
The home side thought they had equalised on the brink of half-time with Dale Whitham heading home a corner but the Nash player was penalised for a push on Thackray.
And Blyth went on to provide the ultimate sucker punch.
A lethal counter-attack from the visitors allowed Callum Guy to pick out Blackett in the area, who slotted the ball under Cameron Mason and into the bottom right corner.
As anticipated, Blyth had to dig deep to defend their 2-0 advantage as Curzon missed a glaring chance 30 seconds into the second half.
Knowles’ cross found Connor Hughes unmarked from six yards out but he somehow failed to test Brad Young in the Blyth goal.
Young, however, was kept busy as he superbly denied efforts from Darren Stephenson and then Matty Waters.
Even when he did look beaten, the determination and desire of the Blyth defence was very apparent when Cunningham cleared Whitham’s header off the line.
Blyth stood tall to the pressure and Blackett almost added his second earlier when he flicked Priestley Griffiths’ low cross towards goal – only to be denied by the inside of the post.
Two minutes later though, Blackett did net Blyth’s third to virtually guarantee his side’s first win of the campaign.
It was a familiar goal for the Gateshead loanee, running lost causes. He nicked the ball of the Curzon defender before beating Mason with ease.
The Nash were denied a consolation when Jude Oyibo struck the post before Michael Cain hit the crossbar in the latter stages.
Curzon: Mason, Mahon, Waters, Stokes (Curran, 60), Southern, Turnbull, Hughes, Evans, Knowles (Obiyo, 73), Whitham, Stephenson. Subs: Tharme, McPartlan, Merrill.
Blyth: Young, Sakellaropoulos, Thackray, Eldson, Cunningham, Cain, Thomson, Heslop, Blackett (Charlton, 78), Gbolahan (McKeown, 62), Guy (Griffiths, 70). Subs: Dart, Pearson.
Goals: Thackray (35), Blackett (44, 74),
Referee: Matt Colett
Attendance: Behind closed doors