Tuesday 24th March 2009
Blue Square North
Stalybridge Celtic 2 Blyth Spartans 0
Blyth Spartans: Mark Bell (sub Rob Dale), Kenny Boyle, Andy Leeson, Gareth Williams, Richard Pell, Alex Gildea, Adrian Webster, Gary Brown, Marc Walton, Shaun Reay, Stuart Banks.Subs not used: Ged Dalton, Adam Laidlaw, Simon Todd & Stephen Shaw
Spartans lost their unbeaten record in brazier circumstances. With Mark Bell making his return in goal manager Harry Dunn paid to price in not naming youngster Paul Farman on the subs bench. Because on 59 minutes Rob Dale was forced to play in goal after Bell got injured.
Blyth had started the brighter – with Shaun Reay getting the ball into the net after a good bit of football from Stuart Banks and Marc Walton – but Reay’s goal was chalked off for offside. Then Adrian Webster drove an effort narrowly wide.
Spartans had a let off when Michael Bowler setup Steve Torpey who was free inside the penalty area but pulled his shot inches past the post.
Before the break Spartans had 2 further good opportunities to break the dead lock. Webster and then Reay had efforts which the home keeper dealt with.
The game changed on the hour when Dale replaced Bell in goal – how close Blyth came to making a major error with Farman striped and ready to come on, only intervention by general manager Ian Evans saved the club from any further embarrassment.
The home side took the lead on 67 minutes. A Torpey shot from range was parried by Dale but unfortunately it rebounded off defender Andrew Leeson into an empty goal.
The game was all over 5 minutes later. Lee Ellington placing his free kick right into the corner of cross bar and upright to ensure all 3 points for the home side.