2 - 2Full Time
|64 (pen)'||Sean Reid|
Spennymoor Town surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Blyth Spartans on New Year’s Day.
First half goals from Rob Atkinson and Andrew Johnson appeared to have seen off Spartans. But a crazy five-minute spell saw Moors miss a golden opportunity to make it three nil and Spartans score twice in quick succession through Aaron Cunningham and Sean Reid.
Atkinson turned home from a corner on 18 minutes before Johnson curled in a deserved second for the hosts five minutes before the break.
But a Jake Hibbs mistake on the front post from a corner allowed Cunningham to convert. A rash challenge in the box from Jamie Chandler then sent Daniel Maguire tumbling, which Reid duly converted to take a point back to Blyth.
The first attempt in anger came on 11 minutes when a well-worked spell of Spennymoor possession had Blyth camped in their own box. The ball fell to Robert Ramshaw, who struck one from 25 yards, but it flew well over the bar. An early sign of Moors’ intent.
Mark Anderson then came close with a well-struck half-volley on the sprint as he advanced on a Blyth clearance, but Peter Jameson collected with relative ease.
Blyth failed to heed those warnings and Rob Atkinson made them pay on 18 minutes with his second goal in two games when Anderson’s well-delivered corner fell to him seven yards out. He couldn’t miss, tucking it into the bottom left corner on the slide.
Anderson should have doubled the lead on 24 minutes when a defensive mistake gifted him possession inside the area, but Jameson stood tall to make a huge save one-on-one to keep Spartans within touching distance.
The Moors were rampant down their right-hand side. A wicked Ramshaw delivery was inches away from being turned into his own net by Jordan Watson as the Blyth faithful breathed a sigh of relief. Another cross from the right was cleared excellently from beneath his own crossbar by Aaron Cunningham as Moors continued to exploit that flank successfully.
Glen Taylor then had his first sighter on 36 minutes. He cut inside Buddle and hit a stinger from 20 yards that Jameson did well to hold with Moors attackers lurking for a tap in if he spilled it.
Relentless pressure told on 40 minutes with a trademark Andrew Johnson goal. He wriggled free on the left of the box and curled into the far corner with aplomb as Moors asserted themselves in a totally dominant first half.
Moors were then dealt a major blow with an injury to tireless midfielder Ramshaw, who was forced off with a possible muscle strain.
Nathan Buddle thought he’d equalised on the stroke of half-time after heading a Connor Oliver cross between Gould’s legs, but not before he’d fouled James Curtis.
Spennymoor should have wrapped the game up at the start of the second half. Johnson ran clear on 59 minutes when Anderson fed him with a brilliant slid pass. He out-paced the Blyth defence and struck first time form 16 yards agonisingly wide.
Blyth managed to grab a goal back with their first significant attack of the game. Fewster looked to turn home Maguire’s driven cross, which was blocked behind for a corner. From the resulting delivery Hibbs misjudged the bounce at the near post, allowing Cunningham to smash home on the line.
It was to prove a huge turning point. Chandler brought down the flying Maguire a minute later for a penalty. Sean Reid stepped up and smashed home off the bar, no chance for Gould and every chance for Spartans to go and get something out of the game.
They very nearly took the lead on 62 minutes when Shane Henry cleared Buddle’s header off the line.
The game became scrappy until the final minutes. Substitute Adam Boyes peeled off at the back post and looked to have converted his downward header, but for another great Jameson save on the line.
Maguire then burst into Moors’ box on the left, but blazed over from a tight angle in the game’s final chance.
Jason Ainsley will certainly view the result as two points dropped from the position Moors were in at half time and be left to wonder how the result might had differed has Ramshaw not been injured just before the break.
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|