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Report: Blyth Spartans 3-1 Spennymoor Town

  • O’Donnell gives Spartans first half lead
  • Taylor equalises ten minutes after restart
  • Moors miss host of golden chances before Lees heads Blyth back in front
  • Thomson scores solo effort six minutes from time

Attendance: 916

Blyth Spartans 3

O’Donnell 18

Lees 63

Thomson 84

Spennymoor Town 1

Taylor 56

Spennymoor were left to rue a catalogue of missed chances as Blyth inflicted the first defeat of the Johnson and Morley reign at Croft Park.

JJ O’Donnell’s goal gave Spartans a deserved lead at the break, but Moors returned to the pitch a different side and equalised through Glen Taylor.

Moors missed a glut of golden opportunities to take the lead and were made to pay when Toby Lees headed in from a corner.

Connor Thomson wrapped up the three points for Blyth six minutes from time with a solo run and finish.

Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson made three alterations to the side who began the Boxing Day clash with Darlington, with John Lufudu, Luke Spokes and Frank Mulhern coming in.

That meant Adriano Moke, Ryan Hall and Stephen Thompson missed out as Moors played their second game in the space of 48 hours.

Blyth forged out the contest’s first opening when the lively Dan Maguire slipped a ball into Connor Thomson, but his effort was blocked by Joe Tait.

After a slow start Moors were close to taking the lead just past the ten minute mark, but Mulhern’s low shot was well saved by the legs of Alex Mitchell.

Spartans, who last played on December 11, looked the fresher of the two sides as they created multiple positive openings, only to be let down by their final ball.

However, Moors were made to pay just shy of the 20 minute mark, with JJ O’Donnell converting after Dale Eve had saved Robbie Dale’s initial effort.

Maguire came within inches of doubling the home sides advantage ten minutes later when his shot skimmed the post following excellent work from Connor Thomson.

Glen Taylor was on the fringes of the action in the early stages but had a good opportunity to level the score line when he diverted Spokes’ mis-hit shot towards goal.

The home side continued to pose a threat on the counter attack, with the industrious duo of Thomson and Maguire causing problems – the latter of the two dragging a shot wide of the post.

Spennymoor began the second half with an added layer of intensity, with Mulhern spurning a good opening when he could only fire straight at Mitchell on the angle.

The pressure from Moors was relentless after the restart, with Lufudu suddenly finding an extra yard of space, but Taylor could only blast his shot straight at Mitchell.

The relentless wave of Spennymoor pressure continued as Blyth struggled to get out of their half, this time Jamie Chandler bursting forward but seeing his goal bound shot cleared off the line by Toby Lees.

Moors were not to be denied soon after as Taylor netted his 16th goal of the campaign, sliding a shot into the far corner after Lufudu had won the ball high up the field.

Blyth, who had yet to make their way into Spennymoor’s half for the first 15 minutes of the second half, re-took the lead against the run of play.

Lees, who had superbly denied Chandler earlier in the half, headed in amongst a sea of bodies.

A chaotic half of football continued to produce flash points, with both sets of players coming together after a heavy challenge on Scott McLean.

Chances continued to come as Moors ramped up the intensity again, with Lufudu and Ramshaw both being denied by an incredible double save from the excellent Mitchell.

Blyth weathered the storm and enjoyed their own spell of pressure, with Nicky Deverdics testing Eve who tipped a long range shot behind.

Spartans added a third six minutes from time to take the game away from Moors when the electric Thomson burst into the area before sliding a shot past Eve.

Blyth Spartans: Mitchell, Liddle, Buddle (C), Hickey, Maguire (McNall), O’Donnell, Dale (Reid), Byrne, Deverdics, Lees, Thomson.

Subs not used: Watson, Painter, Djalo

Spennymoor Town: Eve, Lufudu (Thompson), Tait, Curtis (C), Richardson, Spokes, Chandler, Ramshaw, Taylor, Mulhern (Moke), McLean (Hall).

Subs not used: Anderson, Abbott

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