Playing for their future at Spartans

A REALISTIC Tommy Cassidy admitted that his side’s hopes of escaping the Blue Square Bet North relegation zone are ‘pretty much over’ after Vauxhall Motors widened the gap between themselves and Spartans to 14 points with a 2-1 victory at Rivacre Park on Saturday.

And unlike in recent weeks, the Blyth Spartans manager said after the game that he could take absolutely no positives from what was a dismal performance from his side in Ellesmere Port.

“I can’t take any positives from today’s game,” said Cassidy.

“Over the past couple of weeks we’ve deserved to get more points from the games we have played but today I can have no complaints over the result.

“We were very poor in the first half and slightly better in the second half, but it was still not good enough.”

Spartans were fortunate to reach half-time just one goal behind after Dan Parkinson broke the deadlock on 26 minutes in an opening period completely dominated by the hosts.

Even before kick-off Cassidy had concerns over some of his players.

“In the warm-up I could see that some of our lads were not quite at it and we took that into our first half performance,” he said.

Cassidy himself found his side’s inferiority hard to believe in the first half.

He said: “You wouldn’t think they are just one place above us in the league.

“We made them look like Barcelona.”

The Ulsterman was also frustrated at not being able to respond positively after defeat last week, which would have given supporters a glimmer of hope ahead of Tuesday night’s home match with Solihull Moors.

“After getting beat last week off Gloucester, I felt today was a great opportunity to bounce back, but we couldn’t do that.

“I feel sorry for the supporters because if we had won today they would have been looking forward to Tuesday night.

Cassidy added: “I understand why some of our fans will not come to the game on Tuesday now because if I had seen our first half performance I wouldn’t want to turn up to watch that.”

Despite falling 2-0 behind just before the hour mark, Spartans put on a better display in the second period and Robert Dale scored his first goal since his return to the club with ten minutes remaining to set up an interesting finale.

Spartans, however, couldn’t find an equaliser despite four minutes of added on time, and Cassidy claims he is still yet to see a good performance over 90 minutes from his side since being appointed as manager in December.

“It seems to be the same old story, we play alright in patches but overall it is not good enough.

“We still haven’t put together a good 90 minutes.”

Cassidy has already began deciding on which players he would like to keep at Croft Park for next season and may just have made his mind up on one or two after Saturday’s performance.

He said: “I told the players before the game that they were playing for their futures at the club, but the way they played today you would think that some of them didn’t want to be here.”