Despite reducing a two-goal deficit midway through the second half, Blyth conceded a late third goal to Workington Town in last night’s Blue Square North game.
Manager Mick Tait handed a debut to Stephen Foster, signed from Darlington, but Darren Craddock was ruled out with a foot injury, Michael Tait through illness and Stephen Harrison, in the middle of a three-match ban, was also absent. The Reds made the early running and Stephen Hindmarch was just over the crossbar with a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area.
It was no surprise when the home side went ahead after only 15 minutes.
A corner from the right was not dealt with and Jonny Wright poked the ball home from close range.
Shortly afterwards Jonny Wright was one-on-one with Mark Bell and only a tremendous save prevented Workington from doubling their advantage.
Almost half an hour had elapsed before Blyth had their first attempt on goal. Paul Brayson’s 25-yard free-kick forced Reds’ goalkeeper Tony Caig into a fine stop.
Spartans had the ball in the net as Brayson chipped the goalkeeper – only to be ruled offside – and early in the second half the home side doubled their lead.
Poor defending gave Jonny Wright an easy chance to leave Blyth with a formidable task.
To their credit, they produced an encouraging rally with John Brackstone and Neal Hooks both going close before Brayson struck in the 66th minute after being set free by Robbie Dale. It was the 26th consecutive game Blyth had netted and hopes were raised an equaliser might follow but, 12 minutes from time, Gareth Arnison went past two defenders before slotting the ball wide of Bell.
Arnison then missed a golden opportunity to extend the lead when he dragged a penalty wide of the mark late on.
WORKINGTON TOWN: Caig, Langford, A Wright, May, Andrews, Vipond, McLuckie, Hopper, J Wright, Arnison, Hindmarch (Bowman).
BLYTH SPARTANS: Bell, Foster, Brackstone, Bates, Williams, Pell, Hooks, Turnbull, Brayson, Graham (Alexander), Dale.
Subs (Not Used): Todd, Gillies and Norton
Referee: Mr B Toner.