By Stephen Burton
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday, April 2nd 2022
BOSTON UNITED 1-1 BLYTH SPARTANS
A cruel last minute equaliser cancelled out Lewis McNall’s first-half strike as Blyth Spartans shared the points at Jakemans Community Stadium.
Blyth went ahead as McNall pounced on a rebound on five minutes before half-time, before Scott Duxbury headed home to break Spartans’ resistance in the 90th minute.
Spartans boss Terry Mitchell named three changes from the side that lost to Hereford, with captain Nathan Buddle returning in place of the injured Rhys Evans, alongside Robbie Dale and Dan Maguire.
A few minutes in Boston threatened with an early long throw from Brad Nicholson that the Spartans defence struggled to deal with, before the ball was fired back in and Tom Platt powered a header at goal that was well blocked.
That was as close as either side got in the first 15 minutes as both sides struggled to keep possession, but then Boston created two great chances.
The first came after some great play on the left wing, the ball was fired across goal with Femi Seriki blazing over with the goal gaping. Then just moments later, Danny Elliott ran at the Spartans defence before curling an effort inches wide of the post.
It took 20 minutes before Blyth registered their first effort, but when they did it was almost spectacular.
McNall stole the ball midway in his own half before driving down the left wing, he weaved past a couple of defenders in the box before letting fly but his effort was well saved by Marcus Dewhurst.
However Spartans were immediately on the back foot, however they superbly defended a number of dangerous crosses.
On the half-hour Andi Thanoj wasted a great chance as the ball rebounded to him the box, but he pulled his effort horribly wide.
Otherwise Blyth did well to keep their hosts at bay, and got their reward five minutes before the break.
A rapid counter attack started by McNall found it’s way to Dale who played in Connor Thomson, his shot was well saved but the former Newcastle youngster was first to the rebound to get his third goal in as many games.
Spartans saw out the first-half but almost lost their lead within seconds of the restart as the ball broke to Elliott in the box but he lacked composure and thundered a shot off the bar, before Seriki fired into the side netting.
The hosts were on top early in the first-half, but Spartans did go close as Dale picked up the ball on the edge of the box, weaved past a couple of defenders and dinked the ball across goal, just evading McNall and Thomson.
Shane Byrne had a half-chance for the hosts shortly after as the ball broke to him on the edge of the box, but he blazed his shot over.
Spartans defended superbly, throwing themselves in front of everything and frustrating the hosts as they looked to hit them on the break, but they just lacked the final ball as Thomson looked to break through on several occasions.
Boston continued to push for an equaliser and Jordan Burrow thought he’d got it as he powered a free header at goal, only to be denied by a stunning save at full stretch from Alex Mitchell.
Mitchell was Blyth’s saviour again in the final quarter of an hour as Burrow got his head on yet another Boston cross but the Spartans stopper was equal to it.
The Boston striker was involved moments later as he tried to connect to Seriki’s low cross but he just couldn’t get a touch to divert it in.
Substitute Fraser Preston had a long range effort saved as the hosts threw everything at Blyth, but they couldn’t find a way through.
Mitchell was rapidly become Blyth’s hero as he bravely blocked Ntumba Massanka as he charged through on goal with 10 minutes remaining.
Boston lay siege to the Spartans goal as they racked up the corners and Blyth’s defence held firm, but the pressure eventually told as Duxbury headed home as the clock struck 90.
The hosts still found time to go close deep into injury time but Platt headed wide as Spartans held out for a draw in the final moments.
Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Liddle, Buddle ©, Hickey, Maguire (Thomson 26’), O’Donnell, Dale (Reid 66’), McNall (Cappello 82’), Deverdics, Lees, Almond Subs not used | K. Byrne, McKeown
Goals | McNall 40’
Boston United | Dewhurst, Duxbury, Thanoj (Preson 61’), Burrow (Massanka 75’), Elliott, Abbott, Leesley (Hanson 84’), S. Byrne, Seriki, Nicholson Subs not used | Ferguson, Hanson, Sault
Goals | Duxbury 90’
Referee | Andrew Humphries