First defeat for Spartans at Fylde

Blyth Spartans lost their first away game since Boxing Day on Wednesday night as they were beaten by a clinical performance from AFC Fylde.

The hosts were good value for their win with wingers Michael Barnes and Danny Lloyd the tormentors in chief, although Spartans did play some good football without the incisiveness of the home side.

It was Barnes who gave the Coasters the lead on the quarter of an hour mark. Lloyd was given time to cross from the left and as his centre dropped over Ian Watson’s head Barnes took his time to control and finish well from ten yards.

Robbie Dale had Spartans first chance soon after but his rising shot from twenty five yards went narrowly over Ben Hinchliffe’s crossbar.

With Spartans playing a quick tempo game they looked set to get back into the game as they settled but were hit with a sucker punch.

An incisive counter attack saw Barnes feed Matthew Blinkhorn in the area and his lay off found Harry Winter on the edge of the area. Winter struck a low, rasping drive past Conor Grant leaving the Spartans keeper with no chance.

Eight minutes before the break Spartans had a great chance to get back in the game although it was one they would ultimately squander.

Ash Davis was tripped in the box by Russell and referee Gooch pointed to the spot.

Paul Robinson stepped up to take the spot kick but saw his effort well saved with Hinchliffe choosing the right way and tipping the penalty around the post. That meant the Coasters went into the interval with their two goal lead in tact.

Spartans started the second half brightly. Ash Davis tested Hinchliffe at his near post and from the resulting corner Danny Parker headed over from eight yards. With Spartans on top they were to be hit again on the break.

The home side hit back and only an alert Arjun Purewal denied Barnes a second after he rolled the ball past Grant.

Purewal got back in time to clear the ball from the line although it was to be a temporary reprieve.

Lloyd continued to be a menacing figure and when he was brought down in the area by Nathan Buddle another spot kick was awarded. Where Robinson had failed Lloyd succeeded sending Grant the wrong way to extend his side’s lead.

With thirteen minutes left Spartans got the goal their endeavour had deserved.

Robinson sent in a free kick from the right that caused havoc in the Coasters back four.

A loose ball rebounded to Arjun Purewal who headed home his second goal in three days from six yards.

The home side rallied in the last ten minutes and overran a tired looking Spartans, giving the scoreline a somewhat flattering view for the Coasters. Six minutes from time Barnes crossed from the right hand side to find an unmarked Lloyd at the far post who made no mistake from six yards. With the clock heading towards the final minute the win was capped off with a goal for sixteen year old substitute Joe Mullen.

The youngster curled home from the edge of the box to cap off a miserable trip to the Fylde coast for Spartans.