BY Jordan Cronin
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Tuesday, November 19
BOSTON UNITED 2-0 BLYTH SPARTANS
TWO early goals in each half from Dominic Knowles and Andi Thanoj ended Blyth Spartans’ five-game unbeaten run in National League North.
Knowles struck just after 10 minutes before Thanoj followed up what was a brilliant initial save from Nathan Harker to deny Brad Abbott.
In a game where Spartans often matched their opponents, Lee Clark and co perhaps had a right to feel aggrieved with the referee.
Demeaco Duhaney brought down debutant Dylan McGlade in on goal, resulting in a dubious yellow card.
Clark named three changes from the side that drew 4-4 at Kettering Town on Saturday.
Nathan Harker replaced Mark Foden in-between the sticks while McGlade and Ryan Hutchinson came in for the injured Robbie Dale (head) and Tom Devitt (dead leg).
Soon after what looked like a great chance for Michael Sweet to have a clear shot on goal, Boston opened the scoring when Knowles met Alex Whittle’s low cross to hammer home past Harker on 11 minutes.
Blyth responded well, however had to be alert from a Pilgrims corner. The ball fell kindly to Knowles in the box only to have it taken away from him by an excellent interception from Lewis Hawkins.
Without much return, the visitors got into some threatening positions. Hawkins and Ryan Hutchinson both had shots blocked while McGlade and Callum Roberts sent some inviting yet unmet delivers into the box.
In the blink of an eye, though, it could – and should – have been 2-0 to Boston. Jordan Thewlis cross-come-shot fell to the stretching Knowles at the back post, only to see his effort blocked by Duhaney on the line.
And at the other end, Duhaney was at the centre of controversy moments later. Boston messed up a short free-kick – sending McGlade through on goal, who was then barged down by the right-back.
Referee Tom Kirk, however, opted to keep the Huddersfield Town loanee on the field, brandishing a yellow card instead of the desired dismissal.
Despite ending the opening 45 minutes the better, Blyth were undone early on once again. Abbott’s powerfully struck attempt was palmed away by Harker before Thanoj was allowed to tap home the loose ball.
The home side threatened to open the floodgates. Former Sheffield United forward Martyn Woolford beared down on goal while Tom Platt unleashed an effort from distance. Both were superbly saved by Harker.
But Spartans regrouped and while they failed to live up to attacking standards set in previous matches, Clark’s side were unlucky to not get on the scoresheet.
Substitute Damen Mullen floated a ball into the box. Sweet, minutes after calling Peter Crook into action from distance, met Ryan Hutchinson’s flick-on but lacked the conviction on his header.
Rhys Evans, Mullen and Roberts all saw shots blocked with the latter’s attempted lob cleared off the line by Tom Platt with Crook off his line in the 73rd-minute.
Boston: Crook, Duhaney, Whittle, Platt, Jackson, Shiels, Thanjou, Abbott, Knowles (Wright 76), Thewlis (Tuton 85), Woolford (Rollins, 74). Subs not used: Middleton, Wafula.
Goals: Knowles (11), Thanoj (52)
Spartans: Harker, Evans, Callaghan, Scott, Ritson, Hutchinson (McKeown 78), Hawkins (Mullen 56), Hunter, Sweet, Roberts, McGlade (Amantchi 56). Subs not used: Mouanda, Foden.
Referee: Tom Kirk
Attendance: 1007 (17 away fans)