Report | Spartans record first win of pre-season

BY Stephen Burton

In association with:

ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA

Chartered Management Accountant

Pre-season friendly

Friday, August 28, 2020

DUNSTON UTS 1-2 BLYTH SPARTANS

Blyth Spartans grabbed their first win of pre-season as goals from Panos and Corey McKeown helped them to a 2-1 win over Dunston UTS.

Panos opened the scoring after 17 minutes when he tapped home from a couple of yards from Robbie Dale’s cushioned header, before McKeown doubled Spartans’ advantage ten minutes later after an error by the host’s stopper Liam Connell.

Dunston pulled one back on the hour mark as Spartan’s boss Michael Nelson diverted a Liam Thear cross into his own net.

Nelson named himself in the heart of the Spartans defence in a much changed line up from the defeat at Hebburn on Tuesday, with Dale and Kris Thackray also handed starts. A trialist started in goal with five others taking their places on the bench.

Panos was particularly dangerous in the opening period and had two opportunities within the first 10 minutes, the best of which when he fired over after an excellent ball over the top.

It ended up being third time lucky for the striker on the quarter hour as the impressive Olly Scott left the full back for dead and curled a fantastic ball to the back post where Dale provided Panos with the easiest of finishes.

After a strong start by Spartans, the hosts began to grow into the game midway through the first half with Scott Helsop firing wide after a quick counter attack. Then barely a minute later the Spartans trialist in goal had to produce a stunning save to deny Terry Galbraith from six yards.

But the hosts response was checked just before the half hour mark. McKeown combined well with Scott on the left before cutting in drilling a low shot at goal, it looked to be a simple save but the ball somehow squirmed through Connell’s grasp and trickled over the line.

Scott then had the chance to get the goal his first half display deserved, but could only blaze over after when a lucky ricochet put him through on goal.

Panos, Scott and Callum Guy made way at halftime with trialists taking their place, and one almost made an instant impact after being played through twice in two minutes, but on both occasions a heavy touch allowed the home keeper to gather.

Due to the number of changes on both side the second half was a lot more disjointed and both sides struggled to create.

But the hosts did managed to pull one back. A well worked move found Thear in space on the right hand side, the winger sent in wicked cross which was diverted in by Nelson at the near post.

Spartans remained in control however, and could have extended their lead 15 minutes from time. Three of the trialists combined well on the break, but again a heavy touch led to an easy save for Connell.

One of the Spartans trialist almost ended the game on a high for Spartans as he produced a fine moment of skill, cheekily nutmegging a defender then cutting inside and firing at goal. However, the Dunston stopper did well to save at his near post.

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Dunston UTS: Connell, Capewell, S. Elliott, Galbraith, Scott, Hall, Thear, Page, Fitzpatrick, Scott Heslop, J. Elliott. Subs used: Wrightson, Brooks, Dixon, Andrew Clark, Andy Clark

Goals: Nelson (OG) 60’

Blyth Spartans: Trialist, Evans, Charlton, Simon Heslop (first game), Thackray, Nelson, Guy, Scott, Panos, McKeown, Dale. Subs used: Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist

Goals: Panos 17’, McKeown 28’

Referee: Adam Herczeg

Attendance: 200

Posted by Jordan Cronin