Report | Blyth Spartans 1-2 Chorley | National League North | 22/23

By Stephen Burton

Tuesday, February 7th February 2023


Cedric Main’s first-half strike wasn’t enough for Spartans as Chorley came from behind to run out 2-1 winners at Croft Park.

Main put Spartans ahead on 27 minutes as he fired in from the edge of the box, before Willem Tomlinson levelled for the visitors a minute before half-time. Substitute Jack Sampson scored what provided to be the winner for Chorley with quarter of an hour left.

Graham Fenton made three changes to his Spartans side that won away at Leamington with Saturday’s impressive debutants Finn Cousin-Dawson and Michael Spellman keeping their places in the side.

It took 10 minutes for the first real attempt on goal as Ollie Shenton drilled a half-volley from the edge of the box that drew a stunning save from Alex Mitchell as he tipped it onto the post.

The visitors took confidence from that and they had the better off the early stages as the put the Blyth backline under pressure with a series of dangerous deliveries in the box.

Adam Blakeman than threatened for Chorley 10 minutes later, after they broke forward from a turnover in midfield, but the Magpies captain curled his effort wide of the target from just inside the box.

The visitors continued to turn the screw as moments later Scott Wilson rose highest to connect with Blakeman’s cross but Cousin-Dawson got the faintest of touches to deflect the header over.

After looking second-best for most of the first 20 minutes, Spartans created a brilliant opportunity to take the lead, as Troy Chiabi slipped a brilliant pass in behind the host’s defence for Main who saw his shot brilliantly blocked by Adam Gould who had raced off his line. The ball then fell to Will McGowan, but again the Chorley stopper came up big to keep the score level.

The South Shields loanee was soon involved again as he carved open the Chorley defence with a brilliant through ball that found Main, who cut inside and rolled a fine finish into the bottom corner.

Blyth were arguably the better side as they continued to stretch the Chorley defence, with a  series of corners – one of which lead a strong penalty shout from the home side.

However the Magpies were still a danger, with Jon Ustabasi forcing Mitchell into another save with a low drive five minutes before the interval.

It looked like Spartans would hang on but Chorley equalised on the stroke of half-time as Tomlinson picked the ball up 25 yards out and curled an effort into the far corner that left Mitchell rooted to the spot to ensure the sides when in level at the break.

Chorley started the second-half with intent as Connor Hall tested Mitchell within minute of the restart, before Ustabasi forced the Spartans stopped into another save moments after as the away side swarmed forward.

Blyth began to settle and Michael Spellman tested Gould with a dangerous ball that the keeper did well to snatch ahead of Main.

On 55 minutes Chorley had a brilliant chance to level as Ustabasi surged forward on the break before playing in Hall, but the striker pulled his shot wide of the target.

Some good build-up play from Spartans led to Jordan Hickey getting a sight of goal on the edge of the box but his effort was deflected narrowly wide of the post.

As the game opened up, Justin Johnson fired inches wide from the angle after a spectacular solo run into the Blyth box.

Blyth enjoyed most the ball midway through the half, but it was the visitors who took the lead after a misplaced pass in midfield presented Hall with the chance to drive forward and his low cross was tapped home by Sampson.

It was harsh on Spartans, but they were handed a boost on 80 minutes as Mike Calveley picked up a second yellow for simulation.

They almost made the most of numerical advantage shortly after as Spellman whipped in a brilliant cross but it was just too far ahead of the onrushing Sam Hodgson who couldn’t quite get enough contact to send goalward.

Spartans bombarded the Chorley box in injury time but just couldn’t find a way through, with Main denied by an excellent goal line block.

Blyth Spartans  Mitchell, Liddle, Hickey, McGowan (Round 80’), Elsdon, Deverdics ©, Main, Chiabi (Hodgson 64’), Cousin-Dawson, Barrett, Spellman  Subs not used |  Walker, Dopson, Pani

Goals |  Main 27’

Chorley | Gould, Smith, Wilson, Whitehouse, Calvaley, Tomlinson (Nolan 75’), Ustabasi, Blakeman © (Sampson 70’), Shenton, Johnson (Henley 61’), Hall  Subs not used | Leather, Nolan, Sampson, Britton

Goals | Tomlinson 44’, Sampson 76’

Referee | James Bancroft

Attendance | 501

Posted by BSAFC Media Team