Cuggy still positive in defeat

AFTER watching his side go down 4-0 at Corby on Saturday, Blyth Spartans FC manager Steve Cuggy reflected on a series of missed chances and dubious refereeing decisions.

However, his demeanour remained positive and pragmatic.

“We will be concentrating on shooting practice this week in training,” he said.

“Plus, although some decisions went against us at the weekend, I’m sure they will go in our favour later in the season.”

Blyth started the match in Northamptonshire in good form and created chances in the first half hour with Dan Groves, Graeme Armstrong and Chris Emms all going close.

But a 42nd minute penalty knocked them back, which incensed the Spartans boss.

“It was never a penalty. Carl Jones was incensed," he said.

"Their player kicked the ball against Carl’s leg which deflected the shot but the referee said later that he had played the man.

"Corby were appealing for every decision and maybe the referee was under cumulative pressure.

"I’m afraid that after that we lost our heads a little and conceded again on the stroke of half-time.

"Carl was aggrieved once more as he was fouled at the back post.

"Their lad had two hands on him before he headed in.”

Cuggy accepted that the Spartans’ second half performance did not match that of the first.

He added: “We didn’t get going and gave ourselves a mountain to climb when we could have pulled a goal back but Buchs [Wayne Buchanan] couldn’t beat the goalkeeper with a header.

"We pushed on though and at two-nil down we went with three forwards.

"Trying to get back in to the game left us a bit exposed and this resulted in us conceding two more goals in the last quarter of an hour.”

Two defeats in the last two games which saw Blyth ship six goals and score none would not seem to auger well for Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round game at home to Bedlington Terriers, but Cuggy remains upbeat.

“I would hope that our confidence hasn’t been affected by recent results," he said.

"We will go in to the cup match knowing what we need to do to win.

"We played several Northern League sides in pre-season and of course I know their players well from my time at Whitley Bay.

"We had them watched at the weekend, and although they are three leagues below us, we will need to be on the top of our form.

"Rest assured, none of my players will be hiding. They all know the meaning of the FA Cup to Blyth Spartans.”

Blyth will have midfielder Adam Forster back in the squad for the weekend following injury.