Report | Blyth Spartans 1-0 Kettering Town | National League North | 22/23

By Ben Lightfoot and Fred Chandler


Troy Chiabi’s first-half header separated the two sides as Blyth won a vital three points at Croft Park

Chiabi scored the only goal of the game after 24 minutes in a crucial 1-0 win for the Spartans.

There was just one change to the Blyth Spartans side as Curtis Round is back into the starting xi to replace Michael Spellman who was sent off last time out against Peterborough Sports

Blyth started the game on the front foot as they instantly won the ball from Kettering’s kick-off until Chiabi was fouled by Keaton Ward. The resulting free kick from Nicky Deverdics fell straight into the arms of Harrison Foulkes.

Jordan Hickey then played a long ball over the defence of Kettering for a running Chiabi, but the pass was just too far for Chiabi to latch onto.

Blyth continued their attacking presence as Cedric Main slotted the ball through into Chiabi, whose shot was hit straight at Foulkes.

Three minutes later Curtis Round did excellently to cut right past his defender and advance into the box only for his shot to be blocked at the front post.

After 24 minutes Blyth managed to break the deadlock after Chiabi rose high to head the ball past Foulkes after latching onto the cross from Deveridcs.

10 minutes later Deverdics tested Foulkes from a corner, who managed to clear the ball back to Deverdics, he then crossed the ball back into the box when Foulkes caught the high ball but then spilt the ball out of his arms and Blyth couldn’t capitalise on the Kettering mistake.

Immediately after this Decarrey Sheriff went up the other end to test Alex Mitchell, but Mitchell made a great save to deny Kettering an equaliser.

Kettering had a half-chance at the end of the first half as Frank Cooper tried an overhead kick inside the Blyth box, but he couldn’t create any power on his shot to worry Mitchell.

The Spartans had the first chance of the second half after 53 minutes as Rhys Evans sent the ball forward for Main, who whipped the ball across to Round whose shot sailed over the bar.

One minute later Deverdics struck a volley over the crossbar from inside the Kettering penalty area.

65 minutes in, Will McGowan played a through ball for Chibai who played a cross into the box, unfortunately, the ball went through everyone and Kettering managed to clear their lines.

Main had a great effort on goal after 67 minutes as Round drove into the box from the left wing and set the ball off to Main as he turned his defender and Foulkes could only tip the ball over the bar.

Main then tried his own set of acrobatics in the second half as he attempted an overhead kick, but he couldn’t really connect with the ball with any conviction.

With 10 minutes left, Blyth continued their search for a second with Main as he made a superb run down the left flank before cutting inside and striking the ball just wide of the post.

Substitute Sam Hodgson played the ball forward to an overlapping Evans, who fizzed a low cross into the box that Kettering managed to clear.

In added time Sam Hodgson picked the ball up just past the halfway line and drove forward with the ball and tried a strike on goal, but the angle was too tight and the ball hit the side netting.

Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Evans, Liddle, Lees, Hickey (Pani 69’), Round (Walker 87’), McGowan, Deverdics ©, Main, Chiabi (Hodgson 75’), Cousin-Dawson | Subs not used | Eldson, Dopson

Goals | Chiabi 24’

Kettering Town | Foulkes, Maguire, Flanagan, Gascoigne, Stropher ©, Ward (Knowles 60’), Cooper, Myles, Forsyth (Hill 60’), Sheriff, Lewthwaite (Bennett 72’) | Subs Not Used | Bennett, Sharpe, Hogg

Referee | John Mulligan

Attendance | 585

Posted by Ben Lightfoot