By Stephen Burton
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday, March 26th 2022
BLYTH SPARTANS 1-4 HEREFORD FC
Three first-half goals condemned Blyth Spartans to their sixth successive home league defeat as Hereford ran out 4-1 winners.
Ryan McLean pounced on a short back pass to slot Hereford ahead after seven minutes, before Tom Owen-Evans doubled the visitors lead on 15 minutes, before grabbing a deflected third on the half-hour mark.
Lewis McNall gave Spartans hope as he scored on the stroke of half-time but that was quickly extinguished as Harry Pinchard restored the three-goal deficit five minute into the second-half.
It was a tough start for Spartans as within two minutes, McLean found room on the right hand side but his effort was well saved by Alex Mitchell.
But just a few minutes later McLean made no mistake as he latched onto a short back-pass, rounded the Spartans keeper and slotted home.
Blyth almost made an immediate response as JJ O’Donnell’s low cross found Lewis McNall a few yards out, but he just couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and his effort was well blocked by Ollie Battersby.
O’Donnell then had a chance from the following corner but Spartans’ top-scorer skewed his header wide.
But as Spartans looked to push for an equaliser, they soon conceded a second as a glancing touch from Owen-Evans diverted a cross into the bottom corner.
Mitchell had to be a alert moments later as McLean once more found some space, but the Spartans stopper produced a fine stop.
Blyth managed to stem the tide as they tried to get themselves back into the game, however struggled to create any real chances.
Luke Haines then went close for the visitors with a spectacular volley that whistled inches over Mitchell’s goal.
Hereford then got their third in fortunate circumstances on the half-hour mark as Owen-Evans let fly from distance, the ball took a wicked deflection and looped into the goal.
It was one way traffic as the visitors dominated with Keenan Patten trying his luck with a couple of long range efforts that failed to threaten the goal.
O’Donnell went close for Spartans as he glanced a header onto the roof of the net, before defensive confusion let Patten through on goal only to be denied by a fine block by Patrick Almond.
Then on the stroke of half-time McNall gave Blyth hope as he latched onto a long ball and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
Blyth made a bright start to the second-half with O’Donnell forcing Battersby into an early save as he found some space in the box.
But moments later Hereford got their fourth as Pinchard intercepted a clearance from Mitchell, before curling an effort into the bottom corner.
Once more Blyth had a mountain to climb, but Deverdics almost immediately got the hosts back into it as he forced the Hereford keeper into a great stop from a 25-yard free-kick.
There were a couple of lengthy injury stoppages as both Rhys Evans and Patten had to be taken off after separate incidents as the second-half was heavily disrupted.
Blyth enjoyed plenty of possession as Hereford were happy to sit on their lead, but McNall did manage an effort as he found some space in the box but his shot was well saved by Battersby.
The goalscorer went close again with 10 minutes left as he exchanged with Dan Maguire, only to be denied again by the Hereford stopper.
Maguire then had a half-chance moments later but he couldn’t quite direct Deverdics’ cross goalward.
That was as close as it got for Spartans as it ended in another defeat at Croft Park. Next up for Blyth is a long trip to Boston United next Saturday.
Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Evans (Byrne 61’), Liddle, Hickey, O’Donnell ©, McNall, Deverdics, Lees, Thomson (Maguire 78’), Almond, Cappello (Dale 68’) Subs not used | Buddle, Barlow
Goals | McNall 45’
Hereford FC | Battersby, Hodgkiss ©, Haines, Pearce, McLean, Patten (Lloyd 70’), Momodou (Wright 80’), Owen-Evans, Pollock, Revan, Pinchard (Klukowski 61 ‘) Subs not used | Egan, Dinesh
Goals | McLean 7’, Owen-Evans 15’, 30’, Pinchard 50’
Referee | Kristian Silcock
Attendance | 784