Report | Spartans begin pre-season with Hebburn defeat

Photo credit: Richard Waugh

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Pre-season friendly

Tuesday, August 26, 2020


Blyth Spartans’ pre-season campaign kicked off with a 3-0 defeat to Hebburn Town in a damp affair at the Green Energy Sports Ground. 

Blyth’s first game since March couldn’t have arrived in worse conditions prior to the match but nevertheless, the pitch held up well on South Tyneside. 

Having trained with the club in previous weeks, Michael Nelson handed starts to five trialists, alongside Kris Thackray, Matthew Elsdon, Rhys Evans, Kieran Charlton, Corey McKeown and Panos Katsamagkas. 

Spartans started well with Trialist wearing number 11 a particular bright spark as both sides had penalty appeals waved away in the early stages. 

Unfortunately for Elsdon, a summer signing from Barrow, his first outing in a green and white shirt lasted just 15 minutes following a knock to the knee. 

Both sides got themselves into dangerous-looking positions but it was Amar Purewal who ensured Hebburn shaded the first-half. 

His first goal came on 29 minutes when he picked out the bottom corner from 20 yards before adding a second on the brink of half-time as he tapped home from two yards to convert Dan Groves’ low cross. 

Blyth did have opportunities to level shortly before Purewal’s second. 

Charlton forced a solid save from Mark Foden at the near post, though the former Blyth goalkeeper flapped at the resulting corner, which saw Thackray’s header cleared off the line. 

Nelson opted to make more changes at the break – including Robbie Dale and Callum Guy – but they barely had time to settle as the Hornets scored a third on 47 minutes. 

A wicked delivery from Tom Potter left the Blyth defence static as Robbie Spence connected brilliantly to send his header into the bottom right corner. 

Despite the scoreline, the trialist in between the Spartans sticks impressed during his hour on the field- his best moment coming when he dived to keep out Cedwyn Scott’s powerful effort. 

In truth, Spartans struggled to get into any kind of rhythm in the second-half as Nelson used the opportunity to hand a number of trialists the chance to impress him from the bench.

Dale and Guy both forced Foden into action via two well-struck attempts, while Morgan Dart nearly found the top corner from 15 yards out in Blyth’s best chances to get on the scoresheet. 


Hebburn Town: Foden, Groves, Lough, Spence, Storey, Carson, Potter, McKeown, Scott, Taylor, Purewal. Subs used: Suddick, Donaghy, Salmon, Mullen, Eleftheriadis. 

Goals: Purewal (29, 42), Spence (47)

Blyth Spartans: Trialist, Thackray, Elsdon, Trialist, Evans, Trialist, Trialist, Charlton, McKeown, Panos, Trialist. Subs used: Dale, Dart, Guy, Trialists. 

Attendance: 150 

Referee: N/A

Posted by Jordan Cronin