Purewal secures point for Spartans at Nantwich

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After the elation of Tuesday’s Northumberland Senior Cup semi-final replay win over Ashington, it was back to business for Blyth Spartans at Nantwich Town on Saturday.

The same heart and fight shown against the Colliers was on display again at the Weaver Stadium as Arjun Purewal’s header midway through the second half ensured Tom Wade’s side grabbed a point from the Dabbers.

There was no doubt which team had the best of the opening stages as the hosts came close to taking the lead on ten minutes.

A break down the left saw full back Andy White given time to swing a cross into the far post that found captain Mark Jones, but the midfielder could only slide his shot into the side netting from six yards out.

The home side were on top with Fleetwood Town loanee Nick Haughton causing all sorts of problems from the right.

The Dabbers deservedly took the lead on 26 minutes with a goal from winger Alex Meaney.

Haughton cut inside from the right and found Harry Clayton just inside the Spartans area and he rolled the ball to Meaney who was afforded enough time to hit a firm effort just inside Conor Grant’s far post.

Five minutes later Meaney almost doubled both his own tally for the day and his side’s lead but his goalbound shot from 20 yards hit team-mate Aaron Burns and flew well wide of the near post.

Spartans finally got their first shot on target five minutes before the break as Matthew Wade played Lewis Horner in on the right side of the area but the midfielder’s low drive was easily saved by Dabbers keeper Steven James.

A much more determined looking Spartans came out for the second half with the advantage of having the wind at their backs.

Just three minutes in, Damen Mullen produced a testing low effort which James was equal to.

There was still danger for Spartans though and Danny Parker was forced to clear off the line after Clayton’s low drive got beyond Grant.

Midway through the second half Spartans got on level terms with a goal from a free kick after Robbie Dale was brought down by Sam Wilson.

Horner took the kick from the right and his floated ball to the far post found the head of Joe Kendrick. His flick across goal was inch perfect and found the unmarked Purewal eight yards out and the defender made no mistake with his second Spartans goal of the season.

Purewal certainly has a fondness for the Dabbers as his first Spartans goal came in the draw between the two sides at Croft Park.

As the game went on it was evidently clear that nerves were kicking in as one goal would have won the game for either side.

With four minutes left Kendrick crashed a 25-yard drive narrowly wide of James’ far post.

The final chance of the game fell to the hosts as the ever dangerous Haughton cut in from the left hand side and curled a right footed effort at goal. With Grant sprawling across his goal he was relieved to see the shot dip just wide of the far post and that meant Spartans ventured back to Northumberland with a hard earned point.

Next up for Tom Wade’s side is a trip to AFC Fylde on Wednesday night as they look to maintain an away record that has seen them unbeaten on the road since the Boxing Day reverse at Whitby Town.

Spartans’ man of the match was goalscorer Arjun Purewal.

Blyth Spartans: Grant, Kendrick, Cummings, Purewal, Parker, Mullen (Watson 71), Wade, Robinson, Hooks, Horner (Wearmouth 77), Dale. Subs not used: Bonket, Buddle, Maguire.