In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Blyth Spartans 1-1 Skelmersdale United
Tuesday 21st October
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Jonathyn Quinn’s second goal of his loan spell wasn’t enough to give Spartans all three points against league leaders Skelmersdale United. A deflected Rob McIntosh header twelve minutes from time ensured that the Lancashire outfit escaped from Croft Park with a point in a game Spartans should have killed off after dominating for large spells.
Spartans understandably started the quicker after the travel problems the visitors suffered that saw them turn up just half an hour before kicked. The first chance as early as the sixth minute. After finding space on the right side of the area home debutant Quinn dinked to the far post and only the alert defending of Valtan Fernandes prevented Robbie Dale from heading into an empty net.
The pressure continued and Spartans created a wonderful chance on eighteen minutes but were denied by the agility of Skem keeper Martin Fearon. Dale passed in field from the left wing and found Neal Hooks. He dummied his way past Kenny Strickland and tried his luck from twenty yards but Fearon magnificently tipped the ball away to safety.
On the half hour mark Quinn almost had his first Croft Park goal after racing on to a through ball from Dale but Fearon again frustrated Spartans. The Skem number one stayed big and Quinn could only find the keeper’s legs with his low drive.
However the Newcastle United academy goal wasn’t to be denied five minutes later although he had the pace and trickery of the lively Jarrett Rivers to thank for his goal. The winger danced his way past two challenges to find himself on the edge of the area and his pinpoint through ball released Quinn in on goal. Showing a cool and composed nature the striker rolled the ball past the advancing Fearon and gave Spartans the lead their pressure deserved.
They were almost hit by a sucker punch just a minute later but Tom Ince could only lash wide of the far post after he had raced on to Danny Mitchley’s perfectly weighted through ball. That miss meant Spartans held on to the lead at the break.
Quinn was at the heart of Spartans first chance of the second half as he was played into the right hand side of the area by Dale but his shot was tipped away by Fearon when it looked destined for the far corner.
Spartans were dominating proceedings and needed that vital second goal. They came close just after the hour mark as Hooks snap shot went just past the near post.
It always looked as if one goal wasn’t going to be enough and that was proven right as Spartans were hit by a sucker punch. After Jeffries had tipped over to deny substitute Josh Summer the equaliser came from the resulting corner as an unmarked Rob McIntosh headed home from eight yards via a deflection off Robbie Dale.
With little in the way of goalmouth action in the closing ten minutes the game petered out and Spartans will be disappointed to only take a draw from a game they dominated for the majority of the ninety minutes.
Spartans: Jeffries, Nicholson, Watson, Buddle, Hutchinson, Rivers(Wearmouth 79), Hooks, Hawkins(Wade 79), Quinn, Mullen, Dale Subs: Wearmouth, Dixon, Cummings, Wade, Parker
Skelmersdale United: Fearon, Strickland(Bryne 45), Wisdom, McIntosh, Brodie, Kirkbride, Thompson, Fernandes, Mitchley, McCarthy (Summer 59), Ince(Golding 45) Subs: Mooney, Simpson
Referee: Daniel Woodward