By Craig Dobson
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Monday August 29 2016
Workington 0-2 Blyth Spartans
Blyth Spartans made it two wins on the road in just three days, goals from Sean Reid and Matty Pattison clinching a hard-fought victory at Workington.
The Reds denied Spartans promotion with a heartbreaking 4-3 victory at Croft Park in the play-offs before losing the final themselves to Salford City, and Tom Wade’s side exacted some form of revenge on Bank Holiday Monday.
Workington’s Dave Symington and Spartans’ Matty Pattison exchanged two wayward shots apiece in the game’s opening exchanges as both sides probed for the early opener – and it was the away side who got it on the 21 minute mark.
Chris Bell – the club’s physio and deputising left-back – swung in a fantastic delivery from the flank which was duly met by Sean Reid, who directed a glancing header into the back of the net to give Spartans the early lead.
Robbie Dale, the club hero on Saturday afternoon, lashed wide as Spartans looked to double their advantage, and the back four were looking resolute at the other end, limiting the effectiveness of forward Scott Allison and doing well to deal with a dangerous Conor Tinnion cross into the area.
Rob Wilson forced Jeffires into action at the half hour mark with a firm strike from the edge of the area, but the visitors were well equipped to deal with the intermittent pressure.
Allison spurned a good opportunity to draw Workington level four minutes before the break, heading over from eight yards after good aerial work from Sam Smith, and they were almost made to rue that miss on the stroke of half-time.
With the interval fast approaching, Sean Reid was sent clean in on goal, only to be brought down in the area by the advancing Taylor. The goalkeeper was cautioned for the foul, but soon made amends, denying Stephen Turnbull from twelve yards with a fine save to his left.
Buoyed by the let-off, Workington came flying out of the traps in the second half. Tinnion saw a shot blocked within minutes of the restart, before a fantastic fingertip save from Jeffries kept out Allison’s goalbound header.
A Symington delivery fizzed across goal and beyond the boot of Tinnion as the hosts searched for that elusive equaliser, but still the Spartans held out. Tinnion was in the thick of it for Derek Townsley’s men, Jeffries required to make another good stop to tip the winger’s shot around the post, but Blyth continued to pose a threat on the counter, proven by Richardson’s quick break and shot, ultimately saved by Taylor.
Workington upped the ante in the final fifteen minutes, throwing on Nathan Waterston and Robbie Hebson in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game, but Tinnion’s deflected shot after an indirect free kick was the best chance they could muster.
To compound the hosts’ misery, Blyth sprung a well-executed counter in the final moments, affording Pattison the opportunity to get forward and slip the ball past Taylor with the last meaningful kick of the afternoon.
Workington: Taylor, Simpson, Smith, May, Douglas, Calvert, McLuckie (Hebson 85), Wilson (Waterston 76), Allison, Symington, Tinnion.
Subs not used: Kilifin, Henderson, Fowler.
Blyth Spartans: Jeffries, Cartwright, Bell, Caines, Hutchinson, Turnbull (Pell 89), Pattison, Wade (Armstrong 80), Maguire, Reid (Richardson 60), Dale.
Subs not used: Pell, Parker, Rivers.