Clinical performance from Blyth Spartans at Stourbridge

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Blyth Spartans bounced back from Tuesday’s home defeat to Ilkeston in the best possible way with an excellent display to take three points from Stourbridge.

Goals from Stephen Turnbull, Jarrett Rivers and Dan Hawkins gave Tom Wade’s side a rich reward for a strong and discplined performance that was underpinned by some wonderful attacking play.

The first danger came from the hosts in the eigthh minute as a vicious, in-swinging corner from the right by Glassboys captain Leon Broadhurst found the head of Kayelden Brown, but the winger could only direct his effort just wide of Nick Thomson’s far post from eight yards out.

Spartans were awarded a penalty with their first serious attack in the 13th minute.

A Ryan Hutchinson ball over the top sent Dan Maguire through and the striker collided with Stourbridge keeper Dean Coleman. Robbie Dale stepped up to take the spot kick but produced a carbon copy of his penalty miss against Ilkeston on Tuesday by firing well over the bar.

A lucky deflection almost handed Spartans the lead on 19 minutes as Dan Maguire found a little bit of room on the edge of the Glassboys area. He was given time to get a shot away and it took a wicked deflection off Will Richards before dribbling agonisingly wide of the right hand upright.

Spartans did take the lead in the 22nd minute with a wonderful free kick from Stephen Turnbull. A foul was awarded for a pull on Maguire by Tyrone Williams and that gave Turnbull the chance to deceive the hosts’ defence by curling his effort around the wall and inside the near post.

Keeper Thomson was called into the action just after the half hour mark as he produced a smart stop at his near post to deny winger Junior Smikle, who had met a cross from the left by fellow winger Brown with a well struck volley.

As half-time approached Spartans almost doubled their lead. A clearance out of the back four caught the Stourbridge defence unawares and that allowed Maguire in on goal, but he sent a first-time chip over keeper Coleman and over the crossbar.

That was the last chance of the half and Spartans went into the interval a goal to the good.

Spartans started the second half on top and almost grabbed a second as Michael Richardson was alert to a defensive mistake. The former Newcastle United man seized on a loose ball on the left and cut inside his marker before dragging a shot wide from 20 yards.

But there was a second from Spartans on 53 minutes. A sublime volleyed crossfield pass from Dale released Rivers on the right and he cut inside on his left foot before firing just inside the near post from the edge of the area.

There was a moment of danger for Spartans with 15 minutes remaining as Smikle broke into the right hand side of the area after a quick free kick. The winger struck a low effort that was cleared from inside the six-yard-box by the alert defending of Matthew Wade.

With nine minutes remaining Spartans substitute Hawkins grabbed a third for Spartans, and it was no less than they deserved.

An incisive through ball from Richardson sent the former Bishop Auckland man clear and he made no mistake as he slid the ball passed the advancing Coleman.

As the clock ticked towards full-time the pace of the game slowed and as the whistle was blown Spartans could reflect on one of their most complete performances of the season.

From goalkeeper Thomson through to the three substitutes this was a mature display of quality and class as they dominated against the Glassboys.

After Tuesday night’s away game at Nantwich Town, Spartans return to Croft Park as they welcome Rushall Olympic on Saturday for a 3pm kick off.

Spartans: Thomson, Nicholson, Mullen, Parker (Watson 73), Hutchinson (Hooks 82), Stephen Turnbull, Richardson, Dale, Maguire (Hawkins 70), Wade, Rivers. Subs not used: Wearmouth, Lynch.

Attendance: 384.