BY Stephen Burton
Blyth Spartans host Morpeth Town on Tuesday, in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Croft Park (KO 7:30PM).
A strong first half showing helped Spartans on their way to a 2-1 win away to Dunston UTS on Friday night, with Panos and Corey McKeown getting on the scoresheet.
Boss Michael Nelson once again featured a number of trialists, and it was a chance to see Simon Heslop for the first time in a Spartans shirt as he impressed in midfield.
Northern Premier Division side Morpeth will likely provide the toughest test so far this preseason, as Nelson’s side step up their preparations for the new season.
Matthew Elsdon’s knee injury is still being assessed. Callum Guy felt his groin in Friday’s game, but is expected to be fit.
Once again, a number of trialists will handed another chance to impress Nelson.
The Highwaymen have enjoyed and have been unbeaten in all six of their pre-season matches so far, including five successive wins.
In their last outing, a brace from Liam Henderson helped them to a 2-1 win over Northern League side Newcastle Benfield.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Boss Stephen Turnbull was full of praise for his side after last week’s win against Shildon: “Since pre-season started we’ve worked a lot on possession drills, every one of the lads is so comfortable on the ball. I know it’s only pre-season but you can only beat what’s in front of you but that’s what we’re doing at the minute.
“I’ve said this from day one, I’ve got 17 players. I could easily justify playing any one of them. For me that’s going to be the hardest part, but there’s going to be a lot of games in a shorter time frame so we’re going to need everyone.”
WHAT WE’RE SAYING
Speaking after Friday’s win, Nelson told BSAFCTV; “First half was excellent I thought, everything we wanted them to do, they did. I thought the press was very good, something we’ve been working on pre-season.”
“The system we used was something we used against Brackley (last season), and I quite like it, but I’m not averse to changing. I don’t think we’re going to stick to one system throughout the season.
“We need to flexible and adaptable and we’ll get that into the lads over the coming weeks.”
Defender Rhys Evans also added: “First half we were really good, if we were more ruthless it could’ve been three or four at half time. Second half we had to grind it out, but when the season comes that’s what we’ll have to do.”
LAST TIME WE MET
The last encounter between the two sides was last pre-season, where Morpeth ran out 4-2 winners at Croft Park.
Scott Fenwick and Dale Pearson were on the scoresheet for Spartans.
From 7:25pm, you’ll be able to watch every kick and enjoy commentary from our Blyth Live commentators Niall Bromley and Phil Castiaux. The live stream will again be free of charge.
Here is the link for the stream: https://insight4.azurewebsites.net/stream/RjVhWXYy