Match Report | Blyth Spartans 2-3 Curzon Ashton | National League North | 2023/24

Blyth Spartans fell short on Good Friday as they were defeated 3-2 by Curzon Ashton in front of 1507 spectators.

JJ Hooper opened the scoring after 28 minutes, but Stefan Mols equalised for The Nash seven minutes into the second half. Nicky Deverdics restored the lead for Blyth in the 61st minute. Mols then managed two goals in the space of three minutes to put Cuzon ahead for the first time this game.

The Spartans made two changes from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Peterborough Sports as Oli Thompson and new loanee from Gateshead Lirak Hasani came into the team to replace Harry Gardiner and Malakai Reeve, who were withdrawn from Saturday’s fixture due to injuries.

Curzon’s captain James Spencer started the game off brightly within the first minute as he volleyed an effort from the edge of the area that was hit over the bar.

The Spartans soon took control of the early stages of the game with the bulk of the possession, but the Spartans struggled to get an effort on goal in the final third within the first 10 minutes.

New-singing Lirak Hasani played a wonderful over-the-top ball forward for JJ Hooper, who controlled it well inside the Curzon penalty box before laying off to the edge of the area for Nickey Deverdics whose strike sailed high over the crossbar.

Soon after a chance fell for Hayden Campbell who took the ball down inside the Blyth area, turned left and struck the ball low towards goal, but Alex Mitchell got down quickly to prevent Curzon from taking the lead.

In the 18th minute, there was a break in play as Mitchell and Campbell collided, challenging for a low cross, unfortunately, Mitchell had to be taken off and was replaced by Michael Hogan in the 22nd minute.

The Nash continued to strive forward as Spencer had another effort from the edge of the area and was struck wide.

The Spartans opened the scoring after 28 minutes as Elliot Forbes sent a perfect through ball forward for Hooper who hit a first-time shot into the bottom corner.

Will McGowan and Luka James linked up on the left flank after a corner was cleared, McGowan then floated a cross into the back post and Forbes connected with a header which drifted wide of the post.

Issac Sinclair rifled a shot towards goal which Hogan initially parried out, but he leapt forward to claim the loose ball to stop two onrushing Curzon attackers having a strike at an open goal and he received a great ovation from the Spartans fans for his efforts.

On the 45th-minute mark, another break in play occurred as JJ Hooper went down and received treatment and fortunately, he carried on, at the same time the fourth official indicated six minutes of additional time.

Half-time: Blyth Spartans 1-0 Curzon Ashton

For the start of the second half, Jordan Hickey replaced Hopper following a suspected injury problem from the first half.

Five minutes into the second half Oli Thompson played a lofted ball forward for James, who flicked the ball over the defender’s head before striking the ball goalwards, however, he didn’t fully connect with the ball as it trickled goalwards for Joshua Ollerenshaw.

Curzon Ashton equalised as Stefan Mols put the ball in the back of the Spartans’ net at the back post before Devon Matthews headed the initial cross from a free-kick across the face of the goal.

The skipper Nicky Deverdics capitalised on a mistake from the Curzon defence in their penalty area and beat Ollerenshaw to the ball, rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into an empty net to restore Blyth’s lead.

Mols bagged another for the Nash and levelled the game once again in the 71st minute as he was at the back post again to tap the ball past Hogan.

Two minutes later, Mols got a hat-trick as he latched onto a through ball from Spencer and initially put the ball past Hogan, then into an empty net.

The Spartans pushed for an equaliser as Deverdics’ header was deflected wide after a perfect cross from Thompson.

Immediately after James’ header rifled off the post and the Spartans had a penalty shout from the rebound as Thompson was viciously taken out following the clearance from a Curzon defender.

Jack Bodenham was forward on the left flank and played a floated ball into the box which Rhys Evans sent goalwards only for Ollerenshaw to parry the ball right of the goal.

There were five minutes of additional time and the Spartans piled on the pressure as Curzon Ashton went very defensive, but Blyth were unable to produce an equaliser.

Full-time: Blyth Spartans 2-3 Curzon Ashton

Blyth Spartans | Alex Mitchell (Michael Hogan 22’), Rhys Evans, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Jack Bodenham, Oli Thompson, JJ Hooper (Jordan Hickey 46’), Elliot Forbes, Nicky Deverdics ©, Luke James, Will McGowan, Lirak Hasani

Subs not used | Harrison Clark, Charlie Aitken, Billy Gordon

Goals | JJ Hooper 28’, Nicky Deverdics 61’

Curzon Ashton | Joshua Ollerenshaw, Devon Matthews, Alex Kenyon (Craig Mahon 69’), Issac Sinclair (Ryan Hughes 69’), Hayden Campbell (Luke Griffiths 69’), James Spencer ©, William Hayhurst, George Waring, Stefan Mols, Jordan Richards, Adam Barton

Subs not used | Cameron Mason, Poscha Marcus

Goals | Stefan Mols 52’ 71’ 73’

Attendance | 1507

Referee | Dane McCarrick

Spartans next face off against Chorley at Victory Park on Bank Holiday Monday, April 1, 2024, with a 3pm kick-off.

Posted by Ben Lightfoot