Preview | Middlesbrough U23s | 21/22

BY Stephen Burton

Blyth Spartans fans make their long-awaited return to Croft Park on Saturday as Michael Nelson’s side begin their pre-season campaign with the visit of Middlesbrough under-23s (kick-off 3pm).

It’s been a long 17 months but supporters will finally have the chance to welcome manager Nelson to the touchline, as well as catch a glimpse of a host of new (and old) faces that have joined the club over the summer.

THE OPPOSITION
Boro’s second string started their pre-season campaign against West Auckland on Tuesday night, with a youthful side held to a goalless draw away to the Northern League Division One outfit.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING
Speaking to BSAFC TV, Nelson said: “It’ll be a challenge for us, they’ll have a lot of energy with being a young group. It should be a good test for us and hopefully we can cause them some problems.”

The Spartans boss also talked about the return of supporters to Croft Park: “It’s going to be massive for us.
“The lads have all been speaking about it on a regular basis at training, about seeing the fans back in and playing in front of them again.

“Everyone speaks about this place when it gets a good number of fans in, it’s completely different.

“I’m really looking forward to it, and I know the lads are very much looking forward to having fans back in and hopefully putting on a great performance for them.”

THE LAST TIME WE MET
The sides last met in a pre-season friendly four years ago, also at Croft Park.

On that occasion Spartans ran out 4-2 winners with Dan Maguire, Robbie Dale, Dale Hopson and Jordan Laidler on the scoresheet.

Spartans: Trialist (MacDonald 46), Hutchinson, M Liddle (I Watson 61), Hopson, Buddle, J Watson (Reid 65), Rivers, Trialist (McTiernan 66), Maguire (Mullen 66), Laidler (Trialist 76), Dale. Subs not used: Hooks.

IMPORTANT SUPPORTER INFORMATION

  • We ask all supporters to buy tickets in advance via our online system if possible.
  • If you do not have online access, you can purchase your ticket by ringing the club office 01670 352373 and paying with a debit or credit card. Your ticket can then be collected from the social club on match day.
  • Season ticket holders receive free admission to all pre-season matches. If you have not collected your season ticket yet this can be done at the club office between 9am and 12pm on Thursday or Friday.
  • If this is not possible, they will be available for collection from the clubhouse on Saturday before the game.
  • We will operate a cash turnstile for this match at the Kingsway end of the ground. However, if possible, please purchase your ticket in advance.

We ask supporters please click here and read the following article.

MEDIA COVERAGE
Blyth Live is back with Niall Bromley and Phil Castiaux.

Our media team will also provide live updates, as well as filming the game.

Match highlights on BSAFCTV will then follow in due course.

Posted by Jordan Cronin