Cave on the spot

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A PHIL Cave penalty was enough to secure all three points for Blyth Spartans FC as they ended a five game winless run with a 1-0 victory over Boston United at Croft Park on Saturday.

Cave’s goal on the hour mark was his second successful spot-kick in as many weeks after scoring in the 3-1 loss against Droylsden the previous weekend.

This was by no means a classic encounter but on a day when the result took precedence over the performance, Spartans manager Steve Cuggy will be thankful that his side now have a platform upon which to build on.

The visitors almost took advantage of a nervy start from the hosts as they threatened to take the lead in the early stages.

A cross from Ryan Semple was headed over by Mikel Suarez before Semple himself dragged wide from 20 yards.

Blyth finally found some cohesion on 26 minutes when they produced the best move of the game which ended when Chris Emms saw his shot saved by Paul Bastock after neat link up play between Neal Hooks and Graeme Armstrong.

At the other end, Mark Newsham got the better of Wayne Buchanan but fired wide of David Knight’s far post.

Lee Mason then saw an effort parried in to the path of Dan Groves by Bastock, but the Spartans player could not keep his effort down from 14 yards.

Veteran goalkeeper Bastock then denied Emms who tried his luck from 30 yards.

Aside from Cave’s penalty strike, the second half was to offer even less in terms of goalmouth action than the first.

The decisive moment arrived when Hooks floated a free kick in to the Boston area and Ben Wilkinson was adjudged to handle the ball by referee Andrew Miller, who pointed to the spot.

Cave stepped up to send Bastock the wrong way from 12 yards and give his side a deserved advantage.

The remaining half an hour was forgettable.

For Blyth, It was less a case of hanging on for the win and more of just seeing the game out as they were put under very little pressure in the final stages.

The hosts’ only scare arrived on 72 minutes when Boston’s joint manager Jason Lee – who entered the contest as a second half substitute – caused confusion in the Blyth defence when he headed across the face of goal before Knight gathered at the second attempt.

Emms and Hooks both had chances at the other end to put the game beyond any doubt before the final whistle prompted relief around Croft Park.

Blyth Spartans: Knight, Purvis (Slaughter), Cave, Jones, Groves, Buchanan, Mason (Forster), Hooks, Armstrong, Alexander, Emms (Coluson).

Attendance: 456.