Time and league points may be slipping through his fingers but Blyth Spartans manager Tommy Cassidy is still shaking a clenched fist in defiance.
After seeing his side miss out on three points in the battle to escape relegation on Saturday at Solihull Moors Cassidy said: “The 2-2 draw was a fair result really. We didn’t play particularly well, certainly not as well as recently. Other results went against us to. If we had 20 games left I think we would stay up but with there being only 8 it is certainly a big ask but we will keep going”.
The draw at the weekend was actually Blyth’s fifth successive game without losing but Cassidy would have been looking for the full three points from the game.
Blyth took the lead in the Midlands with a superb Joe Kendrick free kick after 20 minutes but conceded eight minutes later when Dominic Langdon headed home.
“It was a poor goal to concede and then it was another problem in the centre of defence for their second goal, just where we thought we’d sorted things out”. Michael Blackwood had headed home in the 78th minute.
Cassidy didn’t confine his criticism to the defence: “We didn’t play well up front either where our retention of the ball wasn’t at its best”.
The Spartans’ boss named goalkeeper David Knight to play instead of Rob Birdsall who had kept goal in the previous few matches stating that he chose to go with experience. Certainly Knight could have done nothing about Solihull’s goals.
Blyth pushed forward well for the final ten minutes of the game and Glen Taylor fired past Solihull’s Jasbir Singh to equalise with only three minutes of the 90 remaining. A Jordan Mellish header in the third minute of added time was cleared off the line as Blyth made a final spirited, but ultimately unsuccessful, bid to claim victory.
“We went for it, that’s true and we will do the same at the weekend. We have Gloucester at Croft Park this Saturday and if we beat them, who knows. We just have to keep on doing the best we can,” said Cassidy. “It’s important to keep this spell on track as it keeps the season alive for players and supporters and we’re aiming to try and stay undefeated until the end of the season. It would be great to see a big crowd on Saturday. The fans really do make a big difference”.
The Spartans remain second of bottom of the Blue Square North and there is a lot of clawing and scraping to be done if safely is to be achieved.