Report | Blyth Spartans 1-2 Kettering Town | National League North | 21/22

By Stephen Burton

In association with:


Chartered Management Accountant

Vanarama National League North

Saturday, February 12th 2022


An improved Blyth Spartans side slipped to a third straight defeat as Kettering Town ran out 2-1 winners at Croft Park.

It was a nightmare start for Spartans as Calum Stead scored within the first minute after a defensive mix-up, before Robbie Dale scored a deflected free-kick to level the scores on 20 minutes.

Jordan Crawford scored what proved to be the winner just 5 minutes before the break with a deflected shot.

Terry Mitchell named several changes as he looked to bounce back following two successive defeats, one of them being Sado Djalo who came in to make his first competitive start for Spartans.

It proved to be a disastrous start for Blyth as within the first couple of minutes, Toby Lees was dispossessed following a short goal click, and Stead nipped in to fire Kettering into an early lead.

The visitors were encouraged by the goal and were well on top as Blyth struggled to settle, just a couple of minutes later Crawford was in on goal but Lees did well to get across to make the block.

Kettering looked dangerous every time they went forward and Jordan Watson had to defend well from a dangerous cross that almost found it’s away to an onrushing attacker

After a shaky 15 minutes Blyth managed to stem the tide, and took the lead from nothing shortly after.

Spartans were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box after Dan Maguire was caught, up stepped Dale whose free-kick took a wicked deflection off the wall and looped over the Kettering keeper and into the top corner.

The goal was barely deserved, but it spurred Spartans as they grew into the game and penned their opponents back.

Corey McKeown caused the visitors problems and one fantastic run on the left led to a fine strike that was blocked, there was a subsequent goalmouth scramble as several Blyth players attempted shots, before the ball broke to Dale, whose shot deflected off Maguire and narrowly wide.

The game became end to end, as Stead fired over from the edge of the box barely a minute later, before another scramble in Kettering’s box led to McKeown and Djalo being denied by some excellent last ditch defending.

But as Blyth looked the most likely to score, Kettering fired a warning shot of what was to come as Crawford worked some space in the box and forced Alex Mitchell into a fantastic save from close range.

Just a minute later, Crawford found himself in a similar position, this time his shot deflected off Lees and looped over Mitchell to give the hosts the lead.

As a breathless half came to an end, Jordan Hickey went close as he fired an effort over from the edge of the box.

The second-half was a different story with Kettering happy to sit back and try and hit Blyth on the break, with Spartans having plenty of the ball.

It took until the hour mark before Blyth carved out an opening, as Maguire found room in the box and lashed an effort across goal with Djalo inches from connecting at the back post.

Chances were at a premium as Spartans struggled to unlock a stubborn Kettering defence, with their backline dealt with everything that came their way.

In the final moments Spartans threw the kitchen sink at the visitors but nothing would fall their way.

The defeat leaves Blyth in 18th place in National League North, one place ahead of next Saturday’s opponents Guiseley.

Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Watson (Painter 45’), Hickey, Maguire, O’Donnell ©, Dale, McKeown, Deverdics (Thomson 74’), Lees, Djalo (McNall 80’), Almond  Subs not used | Reid, Buddle,

Goals | Dale 19’

Kettering Town | Smith, Joshua, Brown, O’Connell, Johnson, Cooper, Stead 8, Stohrer © 7, Crawford (Diakiesse 65’), Sharpe 7, Sheriff 7 Subs not used | Barrett, Ward, Calder, Milovanovic

Goals | Stead 1’, Crawford 41’

Referee | David McNamara

Attendance |  750

Posted by BSAFC Media Team