By Stephen Burton
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday, October 25th 2022
BLYTH SPARTANS 0-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Blyth Spartans succumbed to a first-half goal as Bradford (Park Avenue) came away from Croft Park with all three points.
Jacob Blyth struck on 14 minutes to give the visitors the lead in what proved to the be the only goal of the game.
Spartans boss Graham Fenton named an unchanged side from the team that drew at home to Alfreton Town on Saturday.
It was a promising start from Spartans with Jordan Hickey in particularly looking lively in midfield as Blyth controlled early possession.
The home side did have to be alert however as Jamie Spencer got an early sniff of goal but a poor touch took the ball straight into the arms of a grateful Alex Mitchell.
However despite enjoying plenty of the ball, Spartans fell behind as Blyth found room in the box and fired in from close range.
Jacob Blyth went close to a second a few minutes later as his low shot from the edge of the box fizzed inches past the post.
The half continued with much frustration, with the closest Blyth coming being a long-range shot from Hickey just before the half-hour, that deflected narrowly wide.
Bradford threatened with successive corners shortly after, the second of which caused havoc as in bounced around the Blyth box with the Spartans defence eventually getting it clear.
Corey McKeown combined well with Michael Richardson on the left-hand side but his dangerous cross was deflected into the arms of George Sykes-Kenworthy.
Spartans had a great chance to level a few minutes before the interval – and what a goal it would have been. Liam Ravenhill’s raking long-range pass cut the Bradford defence in two, Cedric Main controlled it brilliantly but Sykes-Kenworthy was out quick to block the shot.
After the restart Blyth came racing out of the blocks, with JJ O’Donnell and Richardson each going close to connecting to teasing left-wing crosses fired in from Deverdics.
Spartans sensed success on that side, and another cross finding Hickey who’s flick drifted into the side netting.
The early pressure continued as another cross caused the Bradford defence serious problems, with the ensuing scramble causing the ball to bobble to O’Donnell who saw a shot on the turn float narrowly wide.
McKeown then saw a 25 yard strike curl inches wide of the far post – just evading the onrushing O’Donnell – as Blyth turned the screw.
But they struggled to create anything against a stubborn Bradford side who proved threatening on the counter through Jacob Blyth and Eddie Church.
McKeown had a great chance to level from Ravenhill’s cross to the back post, but the winger couldn’t get his angles right and skewed his effort wide of the target.
Spartans continued to struggle throughout the half as the visitors stayed organised and kept Blyth at bay and held out the win.
Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Lees, Richardson, Hickey (Scott 71’), O’Donnell ©, McKeown, Elsdon, Deverdics, Main (Cornish 71’), Bodenham, Ravenhill Subs not used | Evans, Dopson, Joisce
Bradford (Park Avenue) | Sykes-Kenworthy, Lund, Staunton, Spencer, Havern © (Longbottom 52’), Fielding, Hopper, Richman, Blyth (Nowakowski 77’), Church (Johnson 67’), Angell Subs not used | Smith, Docherty
Goals | Blyth 14’
Referee | James Bancroft
Attendance | 683