BY Stephen Burton
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Vanarama National League North
Tuesday, December 8th 2020
BLYTH SPARTANS 0-1 BOSTON UNITED
Brendan Pearson’s goalkeeping heroics weren’t quite enough as Blyth Spartans endured a disappointing defeat to Boston United.
The Spartans stopper produced a string of fine saves but was beaten by a close range strike from Scott Garner on 52 minutes.
Once again injuries took their toll on Michael Nelson’s pre-match selection, with the gaffer again having to name himself in the starting line-up and only four substitutes. However there were home debuts JJ O’Donnell and youngster Jamie Clark, with the under-19s forward impressing in particular in the defeat at Kettering.
But it was the visitors who dominated from the start with Luke Shiels heading against the bar within the first two minutes, before Pearson was called into action a few moments later to deny Jordan Thewlis.
It was the first in a string of fine saves by the keeper, and not long after he did well to deny Jordan Burrow’s powerful effort before Josh Askew sent a piledriver inches over the bar.
A few minutes later he then produced a top save to push away a Burrow header that looked destined for the bottom corner.
The hosts’ task was made all the harder as Nelson was forced off with an injury on 25 minutes, forcing a further reshuffle to an already makeshift back four.
And Boston continued to apply the pressure, with Pearson yet again coming to the rescue, producing two outstanding saves in the space of a minute.
The first was a good block to deny Thewlis as he ran through on goal, then from the resulting corner Burrow was denied by a stunning fingertip save to deflect the ball onto the bar.
A couple of minutes later it looked to be heartbreak for Pearson as the ball slipped through his grasp and into the net, but there was relief for the home side as the referee chalked the effort off for handball, as Spartans managed to hang on to the interval.
A few minutes after the break a defensive mishap let Thewlis through on goal, but Pearson again produced a fine stop to keep Spartans level.
However, the pressure from the visitors finally told, and it came from an unexpected source as the centre-back Garner controlled in the box and fired home.
And they could have doubled their lead barely a minute later as Burrow yet again found himself in a good position but couldn’t find the target.
It took until just after the hour mark before Spartans had their first shot on goal, but it was almost worth waiting for. Clark did well to intercept the ball midway inside the Boston half before carrying it forward and curling a 30 yard effort just past the post.
The effort seemed to give Spartans a boost and a couple of minutes later they could have levelled. O’Donnell whipped a dangerous ball into the area, the ball found it’s way to Clark, but he blazed over from a great position.
Spartans began to grow into the game, but still had Pearson to thank for keeping the score at one as he produced another fine save to deny a Burrow header 15 minutes from time.
The game largely petered out in the final few minutes with a couple of long range efforts the closest they got to threatening the Boston goal.
Blyth Spartans: Pearson, Evans, Elsdon, Sakellaropoulos, Nelson (Guy 27’), Heslop, Griffiths, Cain (Russell 61’), Clark, O’Donnell, Amantchi Subs not used: McKeown, Dart
Boston United: Fitzsimons, Tootle, Garner, Shiels, Thanoj, Green, Burrow, Thewlis (Preston 75’), Askew, Dimaio (Leesley 75’), Hawkridge (Rollings 67’) Subs not used: Duxberry, Rose, Preston, Leesley
Referee: Dan Locker