Blyth Spartans still clear at top despite defeat at Sutton Coldfield

Blyth Spartans skipper Robbie Dale. Picture by Bill Broadley
Blyth Spartans skipper Robbie Dale. Picture by Bill Broadley
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Blyth Spartans came away from the Midlands on Saturday pointless despite dominating most of their game against Sutton Coldfield Town.

Despite the 1-0 defeat, Spartans remain clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Premier League.

The visitors could have been a goal down after only three minutes when a deep cross from the right fell to striker Luke Rogers but he blazed over the bar form six yards.

The hosts were pressing forward at every opportunity and Adam McHugh in the Blyth goal had to react sharply diving at the feet of the on-rushing Rogers.

Blyth were struggling to find any kind of rhythm and their first half chance did not come until the 15th minute when a Robbie Dale cross just eluded Michael Richardson ten yards from goal.

However, Sutton Coalfield took the lead on 20 minutes when Danny O’Callaghan advanced down the right and his pulled back pass found Aaron Forde in space and with time to drill home from close range.

The goal seemed to spark Blyth in to life along with coming to grips with the artificial surface.

A well worked move involving Dale and Richardson put Daniel Maguire in on goal, but home keeper James Wren was able to collect.

Richardson then fired over Wren’s bar before Jordan Watson did likewise.

As the half drew to a close, Alex Nicholson shot over before Scott Lycett was needed to head clear with Maguire ready to pounce.

After the break Blyth had more urgency about their play and took the game to their opponents.

Nicholson crashed a shot narrowly wide before a rare Sutton Coldfield breakaway saw Rogers once again profligate in front of goal, volleying over McHugh’s bar when a goal looked a formality.

Spartans created numerous half chances and Dale and Neal Hooks both had stinging shots blocked before Maguire fired wide and a Dale free kick hit he bar with Maguire unable to find the net from the rebound.

Wren then produced an excellent save to deny another Dale set piece.

Despite their pressure, Blyth failed to get the equaliser on a day when, after a quiet start, they had the best of the game.

Blyth host Halesowen Town on Saturday, March 12, kick-off 3pm.

Blyth Spartans: A McHugh, A Nicholson (S Reid 85), J Watson, N Buddle. R Hutchinson, N Hooks (A Wearmouth 63). M Richardson, P Robinson (D Mullen 80), D Maguire, W Kneeshaw, R Dale. Subs not used: D Parker, A Cartwright.