By Stephen Burton
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Tuesday, September 13th 2022
BLYTH SPARTANS 1-1 FARSLEY CELTIC
An injury time equaliser from Lewis McNall secured Blyth Spartans a share of the spoils at home to Farsley Celtic.
Kian Scales made the most of a defensive mishap to put Farsley ahead on 79 minutes, before McNall struck to level the scores deep in added time.
Spartans boss Graham Fenton handed a debut to on-loan defender Jack Bodenham, with fellow new signing Cedric Main starting from the bench.
The hosts were the first to threaten as they forced a couple of early corners, the latter of which was headed narrowly over by Matty Elsdon.
Both sides struggled to keep possession in a scrappy half, with Farsley keen to press and disrupt Blyth’s rhythm as they tried to hit on the break or from a set piece.
And it was a long throw from the Celts’ captain Dave Syers that caused the Spartans defence trouble, but a near-post flick drifted harmlessly into the hands of Alex Mitchell.
As the first-half reached its midway point, Blyth found themselves in some promising areas but just lacked the final pass to create a chance.
As the half drew to a close, Blyth started to build a bit of momentum as their passing started to stretch Farsley, with the visitors struggling to get out of their own half, but again they were lacking creativity in the final third.
It was the visitors who went the closest within moments of the break. A long ball was flicked on and found its way to Syers in the box, who lashed at it first time and forced a stunning point-blank save from Mitchell.
Blyth came out of the blocks with a point to prove after half-time, as Jordan Hickey registered Spartans’ first shot on target within seconds of the restart, although his low drive was straight at Owen Mason.
Lewis McNall had a glorious opportunity for Spartans as another ball in behind found the striker but he fired his effort wide with JJ O’Donnell perhaps a better option in the middle.
Blyth were beginning to look much more dangerous as Nicky Deverdics and Michael Liddle combined on the left to set up McNall, but his effort from the edge of the box was well blocked.
The visitors were still a threat though, as Frank Mulhern stole the ball in the deep in the Blyth half but his low cross was brilliantly diverted over by Elsdon.
Farsley had a decent half-chance on the hour as a well worked corner routine found its way to Adam Clayton but his scuffed shot was easily gathered by Mitchell.
Blyth had plenty of the ball but visitors were well organised and nearly caught the hosts on the break as an excellent cross from Spencer found the substitute Luke Parkin at the back post but he couldn’t get proper contact on the shot and it rolled harmlessly into Mitchell’s arms.
The game lacked quality, and the Farsley goal largely summed it up, a long ball forward was misjudged by the Blyth defence, then a flick from Parkin took the ball through to Scales who made no mistake from close range.
Blyth went close moments later, as Elsdon found himself on the edge of the box and slipped a brilliant ball through to McNall who was denied by an excellent last-ditch block.
Main, who had come on as a substitute, had a big penalty claim two minutes from time as he took a blow to the head when challenging from the ball but the referee saw nothing in it.
Spartans had plenty of possession in the final stages as they pushed for an equaliser but their patience on the ball paid off as an excellent ball forward from Bodenham found Main, who turned and slipped in McNall who finished well to snatch Blyth a deserved point.
Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Liddle, Nicholson, Richardson, Hickey, McNall, O’Donnell © (Main 70’), Elsdon, Deverdics, Bodenham, Barlow (Gillies 70’) Subs not used | Evans, Buddle, Cornish
Goals | McNall 90’ +2
Farsley Celtic | Mason, Turner, Scales, Johnson, Butler, Clayton, Allan, Atkinson, Spencer, Mulhern (Pointon 60’), Syers © (Parkin 60’) Subs not used | Morgan, Gratton, Dube
Goals | Scales 79’
Referee | Darius Bradley
Attendance | 526