In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Tuesday, July 27th, 2021
BLYTH SPARTANS 2-1 HARTLEPOOL UNITED
Blyth Spartans saw off League Two side Hartlepool United at Croft Park, as another strong crowd of 815 watched a 2-1 victory.
Jordan Hickey scored his second of pre-season after nine minutes before JJ O’Donnell doubled Spartans’ lead, 15 minutes before the end.
Nicky Featherstone quickly pulled one back but Michael Nelson’s men held out for a morale-boosting win against higher league opposition.
Nelson’s side were quick out the blocks and got their noses in front on nine minutes with the best move of the first-half.
A chipped ball over the top from Nicky Deverdics was chested down by Lewis NcNall. He picked out Hickey, who fired home emphatically via the underside of the crossbar.
The visitors reacted well to going a goal down with goalkeeper Alex Mitchell in top form to deny Mark Shelton on two occasions.
The standout came on 17 minutes when Shelton beat two Spartans defenders before Mitchell was equal to the low effort as he moved quickly across his line.
Mitchell did even better to keep out Luke Molyneux when a pure reaction save prevented the Pools winger from tapping home from inside the six-yard box.
Karl Byrne threatened to make it four goals in four games when he seized on a misplaced pass to strike a first-time attempt just wide of Trialist’s far post.
Robbie Dale then rolled back the years with a lovely bit of trickery – flicking the ball over two Pools players before hitting his effort over the crossbar.
Molyneux was back to test Mitchell just before half-time with a deflected shot but Mitchell was again equal to it.
Captain Nathan Buddle was withdrawn at half-time and replaced by Trialist but that did not deter Spartans’ well-organised defensive shape.
And in truth, there was no notable goal efforts until Blyth’s second on the 75th-minute mark.
Blyth’s opener was the best move of the first-half and the second was the best of the second.
Trialist’s tackle got Hickey in possession. He turned, found Deverdics, who arrowed a pinpoint ball out to O’Donnell. The winger then cut inside onto his left before firing into the bottom corner.
Pools, however, did immediately pull one back through Featherstone’s looping header from a corner, but it proved nothing more than a consolation.
That sealed Blyth’s third win of pre-season following previous wins against Middlesbrough u23s and North Shields.
Blyth: Mitchell, Lees, Buddle (Trialist 45), Watson, Byrne, Liddle (Evans 75), Deverdics (Painter 77), Hickey, O’Donnell (McKeown 77), McNall (Gillies 45), Dale (Clark 73). Subs not used: Trialist Reid, Trialist.
Goals: Hickey 9, O’Donnell 75.
Pools: Trialist, Sterry, Odusina, Liddle, Trialist, Ferguson, Shelton, Featherstone, Holohan (Olomala 63), Molyneux, Trialist. Subs: Smith, Killip, Laulor, Crawford, MacDonald, Reegan, Byrne, Francis-Angol, Trialist, Close.
Goal: Featherstone 77.
Referee: Adam Williamson