By Liam O’Brien
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday October 24th 2020
Blyth Spartans 0-3 Southport FC
Three lapses in concentration cost Blyth Spartans in what a generally solid defensive performance against Southport.
George Newell opened the scoring late the first-half before Dylan Vassallo doubled the visitors’ lead in the 79th minute against the run of play.
Marcus Carver then made it harsh for Spartans on the scoreline in the closing stages.
Michael Nelson made three enforced changes from the defeat at Gloucester City. Rhys Evans, Olly Scott and Paul Blackett were replaced by Alex Sakellaropoulos, Callum Guy and Panos Katsamagkas.
Vassallo tried an audacious effort when he cut inside onto his right foot and unleashed a strike at goal that went narrowly over the bar.
Carver got a chance to score in the 12th minute but his volleyed effort was blocked by Aaron Cunningham and Southport didn’t take advantage of the resulting corner.
Carver continued to cause problems for the Blyth defence when he got on the end of a lofted ball into the box by Woods. His headed effort went narrowly wide of the far post.
In the 26th minute, Vassallo sent a corner into a congested penalty area with Mohammud Ali managing to get on the end of it but his shot went wide of the far post.
Six minutes later, Blyth broke forward. Kris Thackray found himself in the unlikely position of just outside the box. He created space to get a shot at goal but his effort was deflected off a Southport defender and safely into the hands of Dan Hanford.
Blyth undeservedly went behind in the 39th minute, when a ball was played through to Newell, who took it past Matthew Elsdon then slotted the ball past Brad Young,
Newell soon troubled Blyth again when he glanced a header at goal from a cross by Matthew Challoner but could only get it just wide of the far post.
Connor Woods had the final shot of the half in the 45th minute when he took the ball past Liam Agnew and sent a shot towards goal but his effort went wide of the near post.
Agnew was forced off with an injury at half-time and was replaced by new signing Ade Gbolohan. Spartans managed get more possession in the Southport half in the second half with Gbolohan putting pressure on the Southport defence.
Spartans got a chance in the 60th minute when Callum Guy played a short corner to Connor Thomson in space, who then charged into the box and got a shot away but he blazed it over the bar.
Thackray got another chance to score in the 66th minute when Blyth won a free-kick from 30 yards. The defender’s effort from the free-kick went just over the bar.
In the 71st minute, substitute Niall Watson charged down the left wing and sent a cross into the box that was headed away but only as far as other substitute Jack Sampson, whose shot went soaring over the bar.
Blyth were on top but squandered a golden chance to equalise. Guy played a corner short to Thomson. He found debutant Gbolohan inside the six yards box but he didn’t connect with his header.
And so the sucker punch arrived as Southport doubled their lead in the 79th minute, Vassallo unleashed a venomous strike from outside the box that beat Young at the near post.
Southport then made it 3-0 in the 85th minute when Watson sent a floated cross into the box and found the head of Carver, who headed the ball in at the near post.
Spartans: Young, Sakellaroboulous, Thackray, Elsdon, Cunningham, Agnew (Gbolohan, 45), Thomson, Heslop (c), Katsamagkas (Russell, 56), Griffiths, Guy. Subs not used: McKeown, Charlton, Pearson
Southport: Hanford, Ali, Oliver, Anson, Challonor, Benjamin, Morgan, Vassallo, Carver, Newell (Sampson, 69 (Doyle, 77)), Woods (Watson, 69). Subs Not Used: McMillan, Winnard.
Goals: Newell (39) Vassallo (79) Carver (85)
Referee:: James Westgate
Attendance: Behind Closed Doors