By Liam O’Brien
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday April 23rd 2022
Blyth Spartans 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers
Spartans earned a valuable point against 10 man Kidderminster Harriers at Croft Park.
Kidderminster took the lead in the 10th minute when Amari Morgan-Smith got on the end of a corner. Spartans then got themselves level in the 30th minute through a corner of their own with Toby Lees heading home from it.
The visitors started the strongest with Ashley Hemmings playing a great ball through to Caleb Richards in the 6th minute. Richards then found Keziah Martin in the box with a cross but Spartans were able to get a block in to stop the shot.
In the 7th minute, Sam Austin got his head on the end of a cross but his effort went over the bar. Kidderminster took the lead in the 10th minute when Morgan-Smith got on the end of a corner. Blyth tried to clear it off the line but it went over the line and they were awarded the goal.
Spartans took control of the game after going behind with Blyth getting a chance in the 12th minute when Nicky Deverdics swung in a corner into the box and JJ O’Donnell got on the end of it but his strike went over the bar.
Blyth put the pressure on Kidderminster with Angelo Cappello sending in a great ball into the box in the 21st minute but O’Donnell was just unable to get on the end of it.
In the 23rd minute, Corey McKeown did well down on the left and was able to cut inside and go for a shot that he tried to curl into the far corner but it went wide of the post.
Spartans caused problems for Kidderminster with a series of corners. Deverdics sent a corner into the box and it went all the way through to McKeown out wide on the right. He gave it to Cappello to send a teasing ball into the box that just missed O’Donnell at the back post.
Blyth equalised in the 30th minute when Deverdics whipped in a corner and Lees raised highest to get on the end of it and equalised for Spartans.
Spartans kept the pressure on Kidderminster going into half-time with Cappello whipping in a great cross that was cleared by Kidderminster before Dan Maguire could get on the end of it. Then a few minutes later, Cappello curled another great cross into the box that was cleared before Dan Barlow could get on the end of it.
It was a cagey start to the second half with both sides struggling to get any clear cut opportunities. Neither side able to break the deadlock.
In the 68th minute, Kidderminster had a chance to take the lead with a close range header but second half substitute Ethan Freemantle’s effort goes over the bar.
Kidderminster managed to get more control in the second half but Spartans were able to hold them back and force them into taking shots from range.
In the 82nd minute, Kidderminster’s goalkeeper Luke Simpson was sent off for handling the ball outside the box. Mark Carrington was forced to go in goal as the visitors had used all their substitutions.
In the 85th minute, Sean Reid took a free kick that he tried to get under the wall but it was blocked. It went as far as Michael Liddle who had a strike at goal that went wide.
Spartans battled hard to try to get the winner but they just weren’t able to get it. The game ended in a draw and was a valuable point in the relegation battle.
Blyth will travel to St James Park to face Brackley Town FC in the next game on the 30th April.
Blyth Spartans – Mitchell, Liddle, Buddle (c), Maguire (Djalo, 43), O’Donnell, McKeown, Deverdics, Lees, Barlow, Almond, Cappello (Reid, 68)
Subs not used: Evans, Painter, Robson
Goals – Lees (30)
Kidderminster Harriers – Simpson, Penny (Foulkes, 81), Richards, Cameron, Austin (c), Carrington, Morgan-Smith (Freemantle, 59), Hemmings, Sterling (Montrose, 59), Martin, Bajrami
Subs not used: White, Panter
Red Card – Simpson (82)
Goals – Morgan-Smith (10)