BY Liam O’Brien
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday, October 23rd 2021
BLYTH SPARTANS 0–1 BOSTON UNITED
Blyth Spartans suffered a 1-0 defeat to Boston United at Croft Park following an unfortunate own goal from Michael Liddle.
The Pilgrims took the lead in the first half when Liddle turned the ball into his own net from a header by Joe Leesley.
Alex Mitchell saved Danny Elliott’s penalty on the edge of half-time but Spartans failed to find a route back into the game, despite late pressure.
Nicky Deverdics came close to giving Spartans the lead in the third minute when his free-kick from just outside the box went narrowly wide.
Boston got a chance in the 14th minute when Elliott got the ball out wide on the right, did a couple of stepovers and unleashed a curling effort towards the far corner that went narrowly wide.
In the 17th minute, Deverdics sent in a corner towards Tear. The on-loan winger was unable to get a shot away and sent it back to Deverdics to cross it back in the box. His cross found Thomson, who had a shot on the turn that was comfortably saved by Crook.
Elliot continued to cause problems for the Blyth defence. In the 19th minute, Elliott found himself in some space inside the box but an impressive tackle from Toby Lees denied him a shot at goal.
Boston broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when a header by Leesley was turned into his own net by Liddle.
Blyth’s bad luck continued when Boston were awarded a penalty when Lees brought down Elliott in the box, however Mitchell handed his side a reprieve with the save.
Boston kept the pressure on Blyth in the latter stages of the first half.
Fraser Preston cut inside from the right side of the pitch and unleashed a strike at goal that was comfortable saved by Mitchell.
In stoppage time, Elliott got the ball from a throw-in but was unable to get a shot away. Jordan Burrows then had a strike at the near post that was blocked by a Blyth defender.
Elliott got another chance to get on the scoresheet in the 51st minute when he found himself in a yard of space inside the box but Jordan Watson was able to block his shot at goal.
In the 60th minute, Spartans got a chance at goal when Deverdics received the ball out wide on the left then passed the ball to Liddle who gave it to O’Donnell just the box but his effort at goal was comfortably saved by Peter Crook.
The substitution of Robbie Dale brought some increased tempo to Spartans.
In the 71st minute, Dale sent in a teasing cross across the face of goal but JJ O’Donnell was just unable to get on the end of it at the far post.
Spartans continued to put the pressure on Boston in the second half. In the 75th minute, Connor Thomson sent in a cross into the box towards Dan Maguire but his effort goes just wide of the near post.
A spirited final moments from Spartans just didn’t translate into any clear cut chances with the best of the opportunities coming in the 85th minute when O’Donnell had a close range effort at goal that was blocked by a Boston defender.
The game ended in defeat for Spartans but there were positives to take from an improved second-half display.
Next up for Michael Nelson’s side is a trip to Bradford Park Avenue on Monday evening.
Blyth Spartans XI: Mitchell, Evans, Liddle, Watson, Hickey (Reid, 70), Maguire (McNall, 80), O’Donnell, Deverdics, Lees, Thomson, Tear (Dale, 60). Subs not used: McKeown, Painter
Boston United XI: Crook, Tootle, Duxbury, Platt, Garner, Shiels (Wright, 12), Burrows, Elliott (Spokes, 90), F.Preston (Ferguson, 88), Leesley, Byrne. Subs not used: Dimaio, J.Preston
Scorers: Liddle (OG 24)
Referee: John Mulligan