Report | Blyth Spartans 1-3 Chester FC | National League North | 21/22

By Stephen Burton

In association with:


Chartered Management Accountant

Vanarama National League North

Saturday, March 12th 2022


A disappointing first-half display cost Spartans dear as Chester ran out 3-1 winners at Croft Park.

The away side took the lead just three minutes in as Matty Williams was first to pounce on a rebound, then Marcus Dackers doubled their advantage 20 minutes in.

Chester captain George Glendon swept home a third after the break, before Sean Reid grabbed a consolation midway through the second-half.

Spartans boss Terry Mitchell named three changes from the side that suffered a narrow defeat to Darlington last weekend, with Reid, Lewis McNall and Toby Lees returning to the starting line-up, and new loan signing, Angelo Cappello starting on the bench.

It was Chester who took the lead with the first attack of the game as Robert Apter rattled the bar with a free-kick before defender Williams fired in the rebound.

JJ O’Donnell looked to respond for Spartans but is long range drive flew harmlessly over, in an opening quarter where both sides struggled to create any chances.

Spartans top-scorer did pop up for a header from a Nicky Deverdics cross on the quarter hour but his header drifted onto the roof of the net.

But as it looked like Blyth might grow into the game they were soon two down in sloppy fashion. Dackers nicked the ball in midfield and bared down on the Spartans goal before firing low into the bottom corner.

Deverdics almost immediately got the hosts back within a goal as his long range free-kick forced Louis Gray to tip wide at full-stretch.

Chester should’ve had a third as Apter danced through the Blyth defence, but he lacked composure and wildly lashed over from six yards out.

Just after the half-hour Spartans went close as Maguire latched onto a long pass, he played in McNall whose dink across goal narrowly evaded two onrushing Blyth players, in what was the hosts best move of the match so far.

The first-half drifted towards a close, however in added time Jordan Hickey gave the visitors a couple of scares, first with a driven free-kick that required a last-ditch block, before firing a volley over a few moments later.

Chester still had time to threaten and should’ve done better as Declan Weeks found space in the box following a quick break, but he sliced his shot wide of Alex Mitchell’s goal.

Cappello and Corey McKeown both came on at half-time to try and inject some attacking impetus for Spartans, however within five minutes of the restart they were 3-0 down, as a well worked move allowed Glendon to fire into an empty net.

Spartans immediately searched for a response, and O’Donnell had a fine opportunity as Nathan Buddle flicked the ball over the Chester defence, but the former-Gateshead man could only fire over.

Just after the hour-mark, Gray had to be alert to keep out a low drive as Blyth searched for a way back into the game.

Karl Byrne then went close as he flicked a header at goal from a Deverdics corner, the ball bounced off the post into the grateful arms of Gray with Cappello lurking.

Chester were back happy to sit back on their lead and allow Blyth plenty of the ball, however they were still a threat on the break with Darren Stephenson heading over from a great position after on such counter.

Blyth made the most and pulled one back through Reid as he turned in Robbie Dale’s in swinging corner to give Spartans a glimmer of hope.

The home side were buoyed and started to cause Chester serious problems as Cappello surged down the left wing before whipping in a great ball to the onrushing Reid who couldn’t quite set himself properly before shooting wide.

Set-pieces seemed to be Spartans best chance of success with Chester struggling to cope with  deliveries from Deverdics and Dale as Blyth laid siege to the visitors’ goal.

Ultimately it was to no avail as Chester saw out the final few moments, with Blyth facing a quick turnaround as the return to league action on Tuesday night away to Guiseley.

Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Reid, Buddle ©, Hickey (Dale 63’), Maguire (McKeown 45’), O’Donnell, Byrne, McNall (Cappello 45’), Deverdics, Lees, Almond  Subs not used |  Watson, Dale, Barlow

Goals | Reid 69’

Chester | Gray, Waters, Livsey (Grand 77’), Williams, Fitzpatrick, Roberts, Glendon ©, Weeks, Dackers, Apter , Stephenson  Subs not used | Stanway, Burke, Horsefield, Roache  

Goals | Williams 3’, Dackers 19’, Glendon 50’

Referee | Richard Aspinall

Attendance |  852

Posted by BSAFC Media Team