BY Stephen Burton
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday, September 7th 2019
Blyth Spartans 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers
A stunning Robbie Dale free-kick was enough for Blyth Spartans as they came from behind to gain their first home point of the season in a 1-1 draw with Kidderminster Harriers.
The visitors went ahead two minutes into the second half as Alex Prosser drilled home an Edward Williams cross from 12 yards.
Spartans then levelled on 63 minutes as Dale rifled home a brilliant free-kick to earn Spartans a point.
Lee Clark handed 18-year-old Levi Amantchi his debut after he signed from Chesterfield on Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile the visitors were landed a blow as first-choice stopper Cameron Gregory went off with an injury in the warm-up and was replaced by Tom Palmer.
The hosts started brightly and new boy Amantchi almost made an instant impact but he could not quite reach an Adam Wrightson cross which was well held by Palmer.
Kidderminster went close themselves four minutes later as a dangerous cross by Ashley Chambers narrowly missed the onrushing Richard Peniket with the goal gaping.
The match lacked any real chances in the early stages, and there was 20 minutes on the clock before the game’s first shot on target.
Robbie Dale did well to pick out Wrightson, only to see his low drive well saved at the near post.
The visitors went close once more as Ashley Chambers was denied a clear shot at goal in the box as Tom Devitt made an excellent last-ditch tackle just after the half-hour mark.
And two minutes before the interval the Spartans rear-guard were called into action once more as Chambers again went close, this time he was denied by a superb goal-line clearance by Anthony Callaghan.
Kidderminster started the second period the brighter and took the lead just two minutes in.
Williams was played in by Chambers, instead of shooting he played it across goal and Prosser tucked it away.
And the visitors should have doubled their lead five minutes later as Peniket found himself through on goal but failed to hit the target.
On 62 minutes Dale was hauled down and fell in the box as he looked to latch onto an excellent through ball from Callum Roberts. Spartans players and fans were furious however as the referee gave a free kick rather than a penalty.
But fury quickly changed to euphoria as Dale made no mistake an unleashed a fantastic free kick into the top corner to pull the home side level.
The visitors almost hit back immediately as Corey Davidson fired home past Mark Foden, only for the referee to rule the effort out for an offside.
As the game drew to a close, Spartans had Foden to thank as he produced two magnificent saves to keep the away side at bay.
The first was great reaction to stop to deny Peniket from a corner, and the second an unorthodox clearance of the line after a scuffed clearance from defender Rhys Evans.
In the end Spartans hung on for a valuable point, and in the process kept alive an impressive record of having never lost on the 7th September since a defeat against Shildon in 1968.
Blyth Spartans | Foden, Evans, Callaghan, Hawkins, Devitt, Robson, Wrightson (Scott 90’), Mouanda (Orrell 88’), Amantchi (Fenwick 77’), Roberts, Dale ©
Unused subs | Harker, Ritson
Kidderminster Harriers | Palmer, Austin, Davidson, Sharman (Williams 26’), Mayo ©, Johnson, Weeks, Prosser, Chambers, Shenton (White 67’), Peniket
Unused subs | Higginson, White, Lowth
Referee | Daniel Locker
Attendance | 796