To describe Blyth Spartans’ 3-3 draw at home to Worksop on Saturday as a game full of incident would be a major understatement.
It had goals excellent football, controversy aplenty and a sprinkle of ‘magic’.
“We were superb,” enthused Blyth manager Tom Wade.
“We dominated the game and should have hammered them. We could have scored ten
“We had so much pressure and created so many chances - good one and half ones.”
It took Worksop going ahead on 19 minutes to really spark the Spartans into life.
“Yes, we upped our tempo after that, “ said Wade.
“We’d been a bit quiet till then, but once we got going we looked a top side.”
A Robbie Dale free kick brought the sides level at the break then Joe Kendrick’s penalty put Blyth ahead after the restart, kick-starting a period of thrilling attacking football by the home side.
“In all my time as a manager I’ve never seen so many chances created,” added Wade.
“We threw everything at them but they defended well.”
Arran Wearmouth put the Spartans further ahead but the visitors struck twice late on to secure a draw.
“The game lasts 90 minutes, or more in the case of Saturday,” said Wade.
“Worksop are a good side and their manager will be proud of them. Having said that we have to be able to finish teams off.
“With hindsight I may not have made the three substitutions which I did in the final 15 minutes or so. But Arran was injured, Daniel Maguire was hurt and I needed to rest Matty Wade’s legs.
“It’s also hard for the lads coming off the bench to get straight in to the match and perform.”
Some of the officiating was interesting to say the least and stirred the crowd’s emotions.
“Overall the atmosphere was excellent,” said the Blyth boss.
“The fans rallied round the lads. Both the supporters and the players learned a lot from the experience.
“Some of the fans left frustrated, but they must believe that the players and management were frustrated too.”
Spartans are on the road to Stocksbridge Park Steels on Bank Holiday Monday, and Wade can’t wait.
He said: “I want my players to be annoyed after the Worksop result. I’m buzzing for Monday’s fixture.”
Although there were superb performances from across the team at the weekend, that of Maguire particularly caught the eye.
‘Nipper’, as he is known, put on a show which, if this had been the Middle Ages, would have seen him tried as a sorcerer and burnt at the stake.
His trickery was audacious and his running seemed to cast spells over the Worksop defence who were left in his thrall.
How he managed to escape from scenarios where he was hemmed in by the goal line on one side, the touch line on the other and two burly defenders cutting off any other means of break-out would have Harry Houdini scratching his chin bemusedly.
But this was no illusion. This was simply stunning.