Report | Blyth unlucky to lose at Brackley

In association with:

ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA

Chartered Management Accountant

Vanarama National League North

Saturday, December 12th 2020

BRACKLEY TOWN 2-1 BLYTH SPARTANS 

TEN-man Blyth Spartans came away from St James Park empty-handed despite a committed performance against Brackley Town. 

The Spartans defence were barely carved open with a penalty from Shane Byrne and a corner converted by Lee Ndlovu deciding the encounter.

JJ O’Donnell had levelled for Blyth, who played the final minutes with 10 men after Rhys Evans picked up a second booking.

Michael Nelson, injured from the midweek defeat to Boston United, named two changes as Callum Guy and Corey McKeown came into the starting XI. 

Five minutes on the clock and Brackley won a penalty as Simon Heslop was penalised after Jordan Cullinane-Liburd went to ground in the area. 

Byrne stepped up to cooly slot past Brendan Pearson in the Blyth goal. 

Nelson’s men didn’t let the early blow defleat them and got right at Brackley as Jamie Clark saw a shot deflected behind on 14 minutes. 

Clark then looked for JJ O’Donnell at the back post with a delivery that just evaded the Gateshead loanee. 

But that is exactly how Spartans carved out their equaliser in the 20th-minute with O’Donnell lashed home his first goal in green and white colours. 

Pearson received a huge let-off in the 25th-minute when he fumbled Byrne’s corner. The ball was directed into the net but the linesman raised his flag. 

Spartans were good value for the 1-1 scoreline but undeservedly fell behind again on the brink of half-time.

Byrne’s corner bounced around in the penalty area with Ndlovu’s acrobatic effort finding its way into the net despite O’Donnell’s best efforts to clear on the line. 

Brackley went in search of their all-important third goal right from the whistle as Pearson was equal to Jimmy Armson’s low shot. 

Spartans then survived a wicked delivery across goal by Matt Lowe with Ndlovu lurking before Rhys Evans prevented Byrne’s poked effort from going in. 

Nelson went with a new-look central midfield pairing on the hour mark as Blyth looked to gain a foothold in the game once more. Agnew and Michael Cain replaced Guy and Heslop. 

Agnew soon nearly brought Brackley goalkeeper Danny Lewis into action but slipped at the vital moment as he tried to pull the trigger from the edge of the box. 

Just as Blyth began to apply some late pressure on the Brackley backline, Evans was sent off after picking up a second yellow – both of which were extremely harsh. 

The home side themselves ended the game with 10 men after Reiss McNally was shown a second yellow for a needless push on Clark. 

Brackley: Lewis, McNally, Roberts, Byrne, Cullinane-Liburd, Dean, York (Mitford, 78), Coleman, Ndlovu, Armson, Lowe (Murombedzi, 86). Subs not used: Myles, Hinds, Chambers. 

Goals: Byrne (5), Ndlovu (44)

Blyth: Pearson, Evans, Elsdon, Sakellaropoulos, Heslop (Cain, 62), Guy (Agnew, 58), Griffiths, McKeown (Russell, 74), Amantchi, O’Donnell, Clark. Subs not used: Charlton, Young.. 

Goals: O’Donnell (20). Red card: Evans (two yellows, 77)

Referee: Jonathan Maskrey

Attendance: 380

Posted by Jordan Cronin