Blyth Spartans lost their first away game of the season succumbing to a 3-0 defeat at Chorley on Tuesday evening.
In reality, though, Tom Wade’s side were left to rue a crazy five-minute spell in the first half and paid the price for being unable to find the net during a second period that they dominated.
Wade handed a debut to former Hibernian midfielder Lewis Horner as he replaced the unavailable Craig Hubbard in the only change from the team that won at Witton Albion on Saturday.
A quiet opening period saw the game burst into life ten minutes in as Ian Watson forced Sam Ashton into a full length save from a 20-yard free kick.
Two minutes later Matthew Wade nearly grabbed his third goal of the season, seeing a low drive deflected just wide of the far post.
The home side finally got going and with some force too.
On 22 minutes a Paul Jarvis corner from the right was headed goalwards by Mark Ross which found Darren Stephenson who flicked home from six yards, although his boot did look dangerously high.
Two minutes later the home side doubled their lead with a rather large slice of fortune.
Powerful striker James Dean found space on the left side of the Spartans area before cutting in on his right foot. His shot took a deflection that took it just beyond the grasp of Michal Misiewicz.
Dean was proving to be a thorn in Spartans’ side with his power and awkwardness, and he almost grabbed his second with the clock ticking down to half-time.
His well hit effort from the edge of the box was easily taken by Misieiwicz and the home side remained two goals in front.
Just as with the first half there was a slow paced start to the second, but again it was Spartans who got on top.
Their dominance would not cease this time, though, as they were consistently frustrated by Ashton in the Magpies net.
Pressure on the home defence by Dan Maguire forced a mistake before the striker smashed a low effort from just inside the box that the keeper impressively tipped wide.
There were warning signs though for Wade’s side as Dean again caused problems, flicking over from a corner from the left.
Spartans to their credit got back on top and created chances.
Wade was the latest to bring the best out of Ashton with a curling effort from 20 yards that seemed destined for the top corner only to be superbly tipped over the bar.
Next up was debutant Horner, impressive all night from midfield, he turned superbly in the centre circle before driving goalwards. Twenty-five yards from goal he struck a wonderful rising effort that Ashton just pushed over the bar.
As if to sum up Spartans’ frustration, substitute Phil Airey saw a deflected effort clip the outside of the near post in a moment that encapsulated the difference in fortunes between the two sides.
The game was killed off with two minutes remaining as Stephenson broke into the left side of the area before playing in Dean who was left with a simple finish.
Many will look at the scoreline and think Spartans were dominated by an impressive Chorley outfit, but in reality there was much to enthuse over from Wade’s side.
The link-up play between Horner, Maguire, Wade and Robbie Dale was suitably backed up by solid displays from Marc Lancaster and Arjun Purewal.
A lesson for this young Spartans side but on the basis of their opening 11 games of the season, it is one that the Green Army can be certain they will learn from.
Spartans’ man of the match: Lewis Horner.
Blyth Spartans: Misiewicz, Buddle, Lancaster, Purewal, Parker (Tobin 45), Hooks, Horner, Wade, Watson (Airey 76), Dale, Maguire Subs not used: Nolan, Wearmouth, Grant.