Blyth’s New Year fixture sees rivals Gateshead make the trip to Croft Park on Sunday as Spartans attempt to get 2022 off to the best possible start.
Terry Mitchell’s side ended 2021 on a high as goals from JJ O’Donnell, Toby Lees and Connor Thomson helped Spartans to a vital 3-1 win over Spennymoor Town.
- Sunday’s match will be segregated, both home and away tickets can be purchased in advance via our online system.
- If you do not have online access, you can purchase your ticket by ringing the club office on 01670 352373 and paying with a debit or credit card. Your ticket can then be collected from the social club on match day.
- We will operate a cash turnstile. However we strongly encourage you to purchase your ticket in advance.
- Tickets purchased in advance must be printed or stored on your phone. Without proof of ticket, you will not be permitted into Croft Park.
- Advanced tickets can be bought up until 2pm on a matchday.
- Should you wish to sit in the Port of Blyth Stand, you should purchase in advance.
There are no new injury concerns, however Rhys Evans will be out as he serves the last of his three-match suspension.
If he plays, it will be captain Nathan Buddle’s 250th game in a Spartans shirt.
Mike Williamson’s side have enjoyed a fantastic season and look to be a contender for automatic promotion as they sit in second place, two points behind Brackley Town with two games in hand.
Their last match was an impressive 3-1 win away to Darlington, with a Macaulay Langstaff double and a Cedwyn Scott strike sealing the points. The win was Gateshead’s seventh straight league victory.
WHAT WE’RE SAYING
Speaking to Blyth Live’s Niall Bromley ahead of the Gateshead clash, Mitchell said his side were full of confidence following the victory over Spennymoor. “The mood’s really upbeat as you might expect. When you win against your rivals especially, it only breeds confidence. But it was the performance as well, it’s not like we scraped it, but we played really well and deserved it.
We’ve got one session before Sunday, but it’ll be a light session. The pitch was heavy so we need to look after the lads, particularly the ones who played the full 90 on Tuesday. Everyone put in a shift so we’ll need to manage them correctly.
It’s great to be involved against your former clubs, but there’s only one focus and it’s on Blyth Spartans and hopefully we can get a positive result.”
Speaking about the fans, he added, “We’ll definitely need them. Gateshead will have a big following, but our support has been fantastic in every game I’ve been involved in. I’m certain the Croft Park crowd will drown them out and give the lads some fantastic support, and the lads will be giving everything for them.”
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Williamson told his club’s media team after the Darlington win, “It was a tough afternoon, we started quite slowly. But we kept doing the nitty-gritty and ended up turning it after about 20 minutes. Ultimately in the second-half we were on the front foot so that was really pleasing.
I felt as if we had enough possession and chances to take the lead. We were then pegged back at our most vulnerable, but the lads didn’t let their heads drop and kept up the intensity and the energy and we got another one.
It was massive, coming away from home is never easy. We’ve got to look after the boys, we’ve got another game on the 2nd, in another big, big derby. In the meantime we just focus on ourselves.”
LAST TIME WE MET
The last time the two sides met at Croft Park was on Boxing Day 2020, with goals from Liam Agnew and a stunner from Corey McKeown ensuring the share of the points in a 2-2 draw.
The sides also played out an entertaining 3-3 draw the season before on New Year’s Day 2020, on that occasion Callum Roberts scored a brace before Levi Amantchi grabbed a dramatic injury time equaliser.
Phil Castiaux will be joined by guest commentator Mark Carruthers on Blyth Live from 2:45pm.
Alternatively, you can follow the game via our social media platforms.