BY Liam O’Brien
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday, October 9th 2021
BLYTH SPARTANS 0-2 CHORLEY FC
Blyth Spartans suffered their first home defeat of the 2021/22 National League North season with a flat 2-0 defeat to Chorley.
Spartans hit the woodwork twice in the second-half through Dan Maguire and Rhys Evans but overall, it was lacklustre performance at Croft Park.
Michael Nelson’s side were left to rue two defensive errors too, as Connor Hall handed the visitors the lead on 44 minutes before it was extended by Millenic Alli in the second-half.
Nelson handed a debut to Dom Tear, less than 24 hours after he joined from Halifax Town on a one-month loan. Rhys Evans was also handed his first start of the campaign.
Both sides struggled to find their tempo in the early stages with neither creating any chances in the opening 10 minutes.
The game picked up with action at both ends of the pitch in the 13th minute.
Tear sent a cross into the box towards JJ O’Donnell but the winger was unable to direct his header towards goal.
Then, Chorley broke. Hall carried the ball 40 yards up the pitch and pulled it back for Billy Whitehouse but his effort comfortably saved by Alex Mitchell.
Willem Tomlinson gave Mitchell a scare when he sent a free-kick from 30 yards out narrowly past the post as Chorley began to pressure the Spartans defence.
In the 33rd minute, Jon Ustabasi found himself with some space outside the box and hit a right footed effort that went narrowly wide of the far post.
Alli dribbled his way past Jordan Watson and flashed a fierce cross across goal. Any touch from Ustabasi in the middle and it was 1-0.
Hall hit the side netting for Chorley and in the 44th minutes, they breached the Spartans backline.
Cameron Painter was dispossessed in the centre. The ball was played to Hall in space, who slotted past Mitchell for 1-0.
Connor Thomson and Jordan Hickey were introduced at the break, and the second-half started brightly as Thomson got in behind the visiting defence but couldn’t find O’Donnell in the middle.
O’Donnell then volley over the cross, while Mike Calveley also brought a routine save from Mitchell.
In the 55th minute, Chorley doubled their lead. Blyth conceded possession in defence, Willem Tomlinson picked up the loose ball and fed in Alli, who cooly converted.
Chorley’s second did wake Blyth a little. Nicky Deverdics found debutant Tear the backpost but his shot was straight at Matt Urwin.
In the 67th minute, the crossbar denied Blyth a route back into the game when Maguire’s header rattled the crossbar.
Eight minutes later, the upright was hit for a second. Evans did ever so well to volley goalwards but it connected with the post.
Robbie Dale was introduced with 13 minutes to go but he could not inspire a comeback.
Adam Blakeman missed a golden chance to make it 3-0 before Thomson stung the palms of Urwin late on.
Another miss-placed pass by Blyth was picked up but Chorley but Ollie Shenton let the home side off the hook with a weak effort.
It was a third defeat in a row for Spartans, who have to wait until Saturday, October 23rd for their next game when they host Boston United in National League North.
Blyth Spartans XI: Mitchell, Evans (Dale, 77) , Reid, Buddle © (Hickey, 45), Watson, Maguire, O’Donnell, Painter (Thomson, 45), Deverdics, Lees, Tear. Subs not used: Liddle, Byrne
Chorley FC XI: Urwin, Henley, Smith, Leather ©, Baines, Whitehouse, Calveley, Tomlinson, Ustabasi (Shenton, 79), Alli (Blakeman, 68), Hall (Scarborough, 85). Subs not used: Goodridge, Birchall
Goals: Hall (44) Alli (55)
Referee: Adam Williamson