BY Jordan Cronin
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday, February 22, 2020
FARSLEY CELTIC 2-0 BLYTH SPARTANS
A goal in either half from Dave Syers and Jimmy Spencer inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Blyth Spartans at Farsley Celtic.
Former Darlington man Syers put the hosts ahead on 39 minutes before Spencer doubled their advantage on the hour-mark.
Spartans played well in large parts of the game – particularly in the final quarter of an hour – but lacked the cutting edge.
Lee Clark made two changes to the starting XI against Altrincham last weekend. Mark Waddington and Adam Wrightson came in for Damen Mullen and Tom Devitt.
Blyth dealt with the windy conditions better than their hosts in the early stages and created three very good opportunities inside the opening 10 minutes.
Leighton McIntosh, on loan from Wrexham, was at the thick of the goalmouth action.
He first saw a low shot denied by goalkeeper Joshua Barnes before connecting with Rhys Evans’ cross, which was aimed wide of the mark.
Waddington then missed a golden opportunity. He was adjudged onside to meet Lewis Hawkins’ in-swinger but headed over Barnes’ upright.
Farsley soon applied pressure of their own when Syers’ 21st-minute goal was ruled out for offside after Zach Hemming parried Will Hayhurst’s attempt.
And while Blyth continued to carve out half-chances through Waddington and Macaulay Langstaff, Farsley arguably took control.
Well, at least they did on the scoreline. This time Syers beat the offside trap to power his shot past the helpless Hemming for 1-0 on 39 minutes.
The Middlesbrough loanee kept Blyth in it at the break after he stuck out a left-hand to prevent Hayhurst’s effort from nestling into the bottom corner.
Fortune was then on Spartans’ side as Hayhurst’s corner brought a goalmouth scramble that saw Spencer denied via the post.
Moments after half-time, Blyth could have and perhaps have levelled through Waddington. It was identical to his chance in the first half but his header was straight at Barnes.
But the bright start didn’t pay off. Minutes after Spencer was superbly denied by the legs of Hemming, the unmarked striker was on hand to make it 2-0 at the back post.
Farsley threatened to put the game beyond doubt – their most prominent attempt bringing of best from Hemming as he brilliantly reached Spencer’s top-corner bound header.
To Spartans’ credit, with the introduction of Ben Harmison, they came on strong in the final quarter of an hour but it was too little, too late.
Notable efforts included a free-kick from McIntosh, a volley from Hawkins, a right-footed Adam Wrightson shot and a Harmison header, however, their attempts all ended up off target.
Indeed, it took an incredible save from Barnes to prevent McIntosh from bagging his first Blyth goal from point-blank range after good build-up play by Harmison.
Farsley: Barnes, Richards, Regan, C.Atkinson, Ellis, Clayton, B.Atkinson, Syers (Hudson 80), Hayhurst (Earing 75), Walton (Coghil 90), Spencer. Subs not used: Cartman, Nicell.
Goals: Syers (39), Spencer (61)
Blyth: Hemming, Evans, Thackray (Devitt 59, Hunter (Dale 79), Cunningham, Hawkins, Wrightson, Waddington, Langstaff (Harmison 68), McIntosh, Scott. Subs not used: Mullen, McKeown.
Referee: Peter Shacklady