Same old story for Spartans as they lose at Skelmersdale

Same old, same old. But that will change.

This was the gist of Blyth Spartans’ manager Tom Wade’s thoughts after seeing his spirited side go down by a single goal at top of the table Skelmersdale on Tuesday night.

“Another good performance but another bad result too,” he said.

“There have been a few of those this season, but things will change.

“We started brightly with a very attacking formation but losing Alex [Nicholson] through a sending off meant we had to use a lot of energy against their 11 men before they lost a player too later in the half.

“I think the incident with Alex was actually a penalty but never a red card. Everyone, even the Skelmersdale bench, were shocked.”

The home side went ahead immediately before the break via a tremendous free kick from Kenny Strickand.

Wade was furious with the decision that led to the goal.

He said: “Nathan Buddle was adjudged to have fouled on the edge of the area but there was no way that he did.

“So to then concede from the set-piece was really annoying.

“The second half was a very open game with the extra space following the two dismissals.

“We only had three midfielders on the bench, no forwards. We are really healthy for midfield options but not elsewhere.”

Wade played wide midfielder Jarrett Rivers up front and was delighted with the former Whitley Bay man’s showing.

“For me Jarret put in one of the best performances I’ve seen from a Blyth player all season,” he said.

“He was awesome. His control, work rate, energy, enthusiasm and pace were superb. Perhaps up front like that is his best position.”

Blyth hope to have striker Dan Maguire back for this weekend’s FA Cup tie away to Darlington.

The former Seaton Delaval player has been suffering from a sore back.

Meanwhile Wade confirmed that goalkeeper Conor Grant has gone on loan to Ashington.

“The two clubs have agreed that Conor joins the Colliers but that he won’t play in FA Cup games,” he said.

“He will remain at Ashington until he regains full fitness following a dislocated shoulder sustained in our final game of last season at Stamford.”