Blyth Spartans suffered a frustrating 3-0 loss away to Buxton on Saturday afternoon as a double from Sam Osborne and Jake Wright secured three points for the hosts to begin the Bank Holiday doubleheader of National League North fixtures.
Jack Bodenham returned to the starting line-up having served his suspension while Cedric Main made his second bow for the Club after signing on loan from York City.
Sam Osborne’s early driving run into the penalty area forced Finn Cousin-Dawson into a vital sliding challenge which resulted in a corner, however, The Bucks’ resulting set-piece posed no danger on Alex Mitchell’s goal.
With the following opening proceedings causing no real threats for either side, Lewis Knight looked to latch onto a searching ball forward advancing on the left flank into the final third, but the Gateshead loanee pulled up in his stride and had to be withdrawn due to injury seeing Curtis Round take up his attacking role.
Spartans’ first attempt on target saw Cedric Main link up with Jordan Hickey on the edge of the area, seeing the latter’s strike parried away by Max Dearnley on 22 minutes.
Graham Fenton’s side began to find some fluidity going forward which reeled in Jake Hull to commit a foul 25-yards out from goal just two minutes after Hickey’s attempt. Nicky Deverdics swung in an enticing free-kick which was initially cleared but only as far as Elliot Forbes unleashed a first-time effort on goal, but Dearnley was well positioned to keep out the strike.
Momentum started to switch in favour of the hosts after the half-hour mark; Sam Smart brought out a tremendous fingertip save from Mitchell after lashing a half-volley on goal, but unfortunately for Spartans, on 35 minutes, Mitchell could only parry Connor Kirby’s strike which fell into the stride of Osborne who dispatched the deadlock-breaking goal to put The Bucks ahead.
Jake Wright was on hand just a minute later to double the advantage for Buxton from close range when Sam Minihan’s low cross was not dealt with deep in the penalty area, proving to be a sucker blow heading into half-time.
Jack Bodenham’s header tickled wide at the far post after latching onto Deverdics’ in-swinging corner which concluded the first half action before five minutes of additional time were played out.
Half-time: Buxton FC 2-0 Blyth Spartans
After the restart, there was a more composed look to Spartans’ possessional play, controlling the first and second third but unable to craft out a clear-cut chance until just before the hour mark.
Main received the ball to feet from Will McGowan and swiftly turned on the edge of the box to get a strike on goal, however, Dearnley was equal to the effort to turn behind for a corner.
A neat routine followed, Deverdics, Rhys Evans and McGowan all combined to see then the latter cross for where Bodenham was attacking the ball to bring out another save from Dearnley who tipped over the crossbar.
The resulting set-piece was worked out to Main who weaved his way into the penalty area and curled a right-footed strike narrowly wide of the far post.
On 62 minutes, the hosts looked to apply their own attacking pressure when Kirby was played through on goal only to be denied by a solid right palm of Mitchell.
With the game opening up, McGowan received a short pass from Main on the edge of the box and produced a mazy run into the penalty area, seeing him bundled over by a cluster of Buxton defenders, however, the referee was not interested in the spot kick claims.
Mitchell had to be alert and stretch sharp down low to his right to keep out Kirby on 78 minutes as the Buxton man aimed to extend his side’s lead before McGowan and Main combined which eventually saw the York loanee hit a venomous effort into the side netting from an acute angle.
Deep into the five minutes of additional time at the end of the second half, The Bucks countered with a darting run from Jak McCourt down the right flank; his cross into the box found Osborne lurking to slide in at the far post to put the game to bed at the death.
Full-time: Buxton FC 3-0 Blyth Spartans
Buxton FC | Max Dearnley, Sam Minihan, Zaine Francis-Angol, Jake Hull, Luke Shiels, Jak McCourt, Xander McBurnie (Jordan Burrow, 55′), Connor Kirby, Sam Osborne, Sam Smart (Max Hunt, 70′), Jake Wright (Eoin McKeown, 73′).
Subs not used | Nathan Newall and Diego De Girolamo.
Goals | Sam Osborne 35′, 90+5′ and Jake Wright 36′
Blyth Spartans | Alex Mitchell, Rhys Evans, Michael Liddle, Jack Bodenham, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Elliot Forbes (Charlie Aitken, 88′), Jordan Hickey (Harry Arnison, 82′), Nicky Deverdics, Lewis Knight (Curtis Round, 17′) Cedric Main.
Subs not used | Joe Oliver and Harrison Clark.
Attendance | 663
Referee: Alex Sawden
Spartans next face off against Spennymoor Town at Croft Park on Bank Holiday Monday.