In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday, September 25th 2021
CHESTER 5 – 1 BLYTH SPARTANS
Five second-half goals consigned Blyth Spartans to their second league defeat of the season, as the visitors proved unable to resist an impressive Chester side.
Manager Michael Nelson made one enforced change to the team that defeated FC United at Broadhurst Park on Tuesday evening, with Cameron Painter replacing the injured Nicky Deverdics.
The visitors couldn’t have wished for a better start at the Deva Stadium. Having survived an early scare in the opening minutes, a break down the left flank saw the ball fed to JJ O’Donnell. The skipper teed himself up perfectly with a sublime first touch, before placing a low finish beyond Chester ‘keeper Louis Gray into the far corner within five minutes of kick-off.
The hosts responded well with some slick passing moves, and threatened to peg Spartans back quickly through Anthony Dudley. The Seals’ number 10 stabbed a tame effort straight at Mitchell when well placed, but tested the visiting ‘keeper seven minutes later, with Mitchell producing a fine reflex save low to his left.
Chester enjoyed most of the ball, but Blyth looked a threat on the break, and could have doubled their lead on 26 minutes. O’Donnell was again involved, threading through a fine ball into space for Thomson. The makeshift forward, scorer of a well-taken brace on Tuesday, could not beat the advancing Gray, who denied Thomson with an outstretched boot.
O’Donnell also saw a header ruled out for offside, but the home side were still in the ascendancy. They should have levelled just after the half hour mark when Weeks rounded Mitchell, but could not apply the finish to a fine passing move, losing balance at the crucial moment and screwing inches wide.
Staunch defending prevented the Seals from restoring parity before the break, but Chester needed just five minutes to grab a deserved leveller. Weeks made amends for his earlier miss, collecting a loose ball and driving a low shot through a crowded area into the far corner.
Robbie Dale drove a free kick marginally wide as Blyth looked to respond, but the hosts continued to look threatening, and sure enough had turned the game on its head three minutes before the hour mark. Weeks turned provider, sliding the ball through to Dudley. The forward’s shot across goal beat Mitchell, with Waring making sure by tapping in on the line.
Within three minutes, the home side had effectively secured all three points with a third goal. George Glendon seized on some sloppy play from Blyth in the middle of the park, breaking forward and releasing Dudley. The forward then curled high beyond Mitchell into the top corner to make the game safe.
Nelson’s men kept working but would concede a fourth through a routine set piece. Weeks’ corner was met towards the back post by Matty Williams, the centre-half powering a header beyond Mitchell.
It could have been worse for the travelling Spartans, whose fans were in fine voice throughout, were it not for a last-ditch clearance from Toby Lees, keeping out substitute John Johnston’s goalbound strike.
Dan Maguire, introduced for Dale early in the second half, went closest for Blyth late on, his low shot saved and held by Gray. However, two of the hosts’ substitutes would link up to score Chester’s fifth and final goal. Jack Redshaw, making his debut for the Seals, tapped in a sweeping cross from Johnston to compound Spartans’ misery.
Chester XI: Gray, Horsfield (Cowan 70’), Askew, Grand, Williams, Weeks, Lacey, Hardy (Johnston 59’), Glendon, Dudley, Waring (Redshaw 59’).
Goals: Weeks 50’, Waring 57’, Dudley 60’, Williams 73’, Redshaw 86’.
Blyth Spartans XI: Mitchell, Byrne, Watson, Reid, Lees, Liddle, McKeown (Evans 73’), Painter, Dale (Maguire 56’), O’Donnell ©, Thomson (McNall 69’). Subs not used: Buddle, Curran.
Goals: O’Donnell 5’.
Referee: Liam Marshall