Report | Spartans struggle to maintain early momentum

Blyth Spartans 1-3 Brackley Town

Three goals in 13 first half minutes from Brackley Town downed a subdued Blyth Spartans at Croft Park.

Dan Maguire’s 20th goal of the season had given the hosts the lead inside 10 minutes, but the playoff contenders soon rallied.

Shane Byrne converted a 25th minute penalty after debutant Mark Foden fouled Lee Ndlovu – Gareth Dean’s header five minutes later turning the game on its head before Byrne added a third in the 37th minute.

The visitors produced a defensively astute second half display – which saw Blyth create very little – but all eyes will be on Foden’s disastrous debut.

In what has become accustomed in recent weeks, Spartans started the game strongly and opened the scoring on 10 minutes.

Kieran Green dispossessed Byrne to allow Maguire to break away, the striker lashing home from the edge of the area with a sublime low finish into the bottom left hand corner.

The tide turned on 25 minutes when Ndlovu’s run into the area wasn’t tracked and Foden brought down the striker. Byrne fired his penalty into the top right-hand corner to level.

Five minutes later Foden then misjudged a Byrne corner – flailing an arm in the face of Dean who bundled the header into an empty net.

Worse was to come for Spartans when Matt Lowe ran free down the right flank before picking out Byrne on the edge of the area – the midfielder striking through a sea of bodies straight past Foden.

Full Report to follow


Blyth Spartans | 4-2-3-1 | Foden; Horner, Laing, Buddle, J Watson; Green (Butler), Oliver; Rivers, Reid (Dale), Holmes (Wrightson); Maguire.

Unused | Mullen, Nicholson

Brackley Town | 4-2-3-1 | Lewis; Myles, Dean, Hall; G Walker; Byrne, A Walker; Lowe (Nti), Armson (Fairlamb), Baker (Sterling-James); Ndlovu.

Unused | Jackson, Murombedzi

Referee | Dean Watson

Attendance | 651

Posted by Stuart Dick