Spartans battle come back from three down to earn draw

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THE Butchers Arms has been a happy hunting ground for Blyth Spartans on recent visits, with a memorable 4-0 victory in the FA Trophy last season and a well earned draw in an FA cup tie this campaign – with Droylsden tasting defeat in the replay at Croft Park.

On Tuesday night, however, The Bloods appeared to have turned the tables on Spartans as they found themselves 3-0 ahead with less than 20 minutes remaining thanks to strikes from Dale Johnson and Dan Gardner (2).

At this point Spartans looked dead and buried before two quick-fire goals from Joe Kendrick and Andy Ferrell – on his debut – changed the whole complexion of the game.

A crucial save from Robert Birdsall then prevented the hosts from extending their lead before at the other end, substitute Lee Mason found the net from 18 yards to complete a dramatic 90th minute comeback and spark delirium amongst the 20 away fans in the 170-strong crowd.

Social media sites were soon flooded with Spartans fans expressing their delight at the turnaround but manager Tommy Cassidy is not getting carried away – despite seeing his side take ten points from the last four games.

Speaking after the game, Cassidy said: “After coming back like that it feels like a win now, but it won’t tomorrow when I wake up because you still only get one point from it.

“The players are over the moon but it is my job to bring them back down to earth before Saturday.

“At 3-0 down our players adopted the attitude that we’ve got nothing to lose and we started playing with freedom and really started to attack them.”

Cassidy also found time to praise new signing Ferrell, who has arrived from Barrow on a month’s loan.

“Andy played really well,” said Cassidy

“He can see a pass and make a tackle, and to top it off he scored tonight, which is another bonus.”

The Ulsterman believes his side have what it takes to overcome Solihull Moors in the west midlands on Saturday if they can perform to their capabilities for the entirety of the contest.

“We can’t seem to put a good 90 minutes together.

“If we can do that then we’ve got a great chance of beating Solihull on Saturday.”

Spartans go into Saturday’s Blue Square Bet North encounter at Solihull eight points behind Vauxhall Motors and ten points behind Hinckley United – who sit one place above the relegation zone with a game in hand over Cassidy’s side.