Preview | Stockton Town (H) | Pre-season | 21/22

BY Stephen Burton

Blyth Spartans round off their pre-season preparations when they welcome Northern Premier League newcomers Stockton Town to Croft Park on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

­In front of 1,148 fans at Croft Park on Tuesday night, Blyth turned in a brilliant performance as goals from Robbie Dale, Dan Maguire and Lewis McNall helped achieve a 3-0 win over Newcastle United under-23s.

Spartans begin their National League North campaign at home to Alfreton Town a week on Saturday, so this will be the players last chance to play their way into Michael Nelson’s starting XI for the start of the season.

TICKETING 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 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.
  • Tickets purchased in advance must be printed or stored on your phone. Without proof of ticket, you will not be permitted into Croft Park.

THE OPPOSITION

The Anchors have enjoyed a decent pre-season with four wins out of six as they prepare for their maiden season in Northern Premier League East following last season’s promotion from the Northern League.

Last time out, Michael Dunwell’s men thrashed Percy Main 7-0. A brilliant team performance saw six different players get on the scoresheet, including a brace for Nathan Mulligan.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING

After a disappointing performance against Hebburn last weekend, Nelson was pleased with his side’s response versus the Magpies’ young guns.

He said: “We had some fresh faces back, changed the shape and had a look at something different. I thought the lads were brilliant from start to finish.

“It’s really pleasing for them to get a clean sheet. We looked calm and competent at the back and we carried a real threat going forward as well.”

The gaffer was also full of praise for the fans after another fantastic attendance.

Nelson added: “It’s brilliant. To get nearly 1200 here on a Tuesday night, it’s fantastic. It does make a difference to the players. Especially after last year, playing every game in an empty stadium.

“Having the fans in and hearing the cheers when we score and when we crash into tackles, it’s brilliant.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Stockton assistant manager JD Briggs told the club’s YouTube channel: “Blyth is the perfect game to finish off pre-season.

“It’s such a high standard of a club we’ve never played before. They’ll want to play well and score some goals past us.

“It’ll be nice to see where we have progressed from the South Shields game versus Blyth Spartans.

“It’s perfectly set for us to play a really tough game before the start of the season.”

THE LAST TIME WE MET

Saturday will represent the first time Spartans have faced Stockton Town in their history.

Posted by Jordan Cronin