The Spartans couldn’t capitalise on a positive first half performance at Buxton on Saturday, ultimately going down 2-1, but manager Tom Wade was not downbeat.
“Without a doubt we should have gone in at half time two or three goals up,” he said. “It was a typical away performance from us, bossing the game then letting it slip away. In the opening period we played some good stuff and put Buxton under lots of pressure. Paul Robinson is getting stronger and was influential and I believe that if Sonny [Andrews] had taken his chance just before the break that we would have gone on to win. Unfortunately it bobbled on what was a poor surface and he hit it over the top.”
The home side came out after the interval with a renewed vigour which Blyth struggled to match.
“We went downhill in the second half,” said Wade. “They went with three up front and got the ball from back to front very quickly and we couldn’t handle their aerial threat. They caused us loads of problems and maybe, on reflection, we too should have gone more ‘route one’.”
The hosts took the lead shortly after the restart.
Wade commented: “Michal [Misiewicz] in our goal had landed badly only five minutes into the game and looked to be struggling. Buxton obviously saw that and bombarded him. To his credit he came for a high ball, punched it away but it fell nicely for their Neil Stevens to score.
“I thought the first goal would win the match but their second was a blow. They hit the ball straight down the middle, it bounced over the centre half’s head for [Lee}] Morris to fire home. I wouldn’t care but although they had us under pressure they weren’t creating much.”
Blyth brought on striker Ash Davis for Sonny Anderson after 65 minutes. His stay lasted only ten minutes before he was shown a red card.
Wade said: “I didn’t see the incident but Ash says he only pushed the lad. Ash was being provoked from the moment he came on.
”The lads kept battling though, being a man down. They rolled up their sleeves and kept going and gave it everything they could plus Hubbs [Craig Hubbard] got us a goal back with a tremendous strike late on.”
The Blyth boss isn’t overly concerned with his side having picked up two red cards in a week plus numerous of the yellow variety.
“Conor Grant’s at Grantham wasn’t a red,” he suggested. “Ash’s on Saturday I don’t know about. The fact is that other teams are niggling us and we are biting back a little bit. They know we try and play football and understand that we go off our game if they get in our faces. It’s something a young side has to learn from.”
The Spartans travel to take on Bedlington Terriers on Wednesday in the Northumberland Senior Cup and Wade is taking the tie extremely seriously.
“This is our most important game of the season,” he said. “Bedlington will be up for it but this is our ‘cup final’; our big game. You have to take the Cup seriously or you may as well not be in it. We will have to get amongst them and show guts and spirit!
“I want to issue a rallying call to all our supporters to get behind us on Wednesday and again next Saturday when Rushall come to Croft Park. We’ve done well but have had a bad run of late. This is exactly when we need the fans’ support. It’s vital to help us get out of this dodgy patch.”
Blyth have let defender Marc Lancaster go to Morpeth Town on loan.