A long hard season was evident in some of the Blyth Spartans’ players on Saturday at Eastwood Town – but despite this Tom Wade’s side ran out easy 4-1 winners.
Goals from Joe Kendrick, Robbie Dale and two late strikes from substitute Andy Jennings sealed the three points.
Wade said: “We looked a bit sluggish on the coach going down but John [Cornforth] did a really good warm up and the players were up for it.
“We started brightly, passing the ball and moving well and I thought we dominated the first half.
“We deserved to go ahead when Joe Kendrick stabbed the ball home after 20 minutes or so.
“We lost our way a little after the restart as heavy legs developed but we grafted hard, kept going, and you couldn’t question the commitment of the lads.
“We got back in to the game, battled hard and strolled it in the end.”
Dale extended the Spartans lead on 70 minutes with a calm side foot finish.
However Eastwood struck back immediately to make the score 2-1.
“We were sloppy but it was probably the only time in the game when we switched off,” said Wade.
“We started to get the ball forward better and pressed higher up the pitch and the goals came.
“Eastwood were a hard working young side which grafted hard for their manager but just weren’t a threat up front. We put in the effort and got the result.”
Blyth had started with Daniel Maguire as a lone striker.
“Dan is one of our more energetic players but he looked tired on Saturday,” said Wade.
“Having said that, playing alone up front is a difficult role to play.
“When we got to Eastwood and saw the state of the pitch, I decided to go for an extra man in midfield. It didn’t really work and maybe we should have gone 4-4-2 earlier in the game.”
With the season drawing to a close the Blyth boss is looking forward to the concluding fixtures.
“We need to finish the year well. At home to Kendal on Tuesday both sides are likely to be a bit weary but it will be all about desire and I want my players to show that and win the game.
“Then we travel to Nantwich and we will be giving a right go and want to put on a display over there.
“It’s important for the home and travelling fans that we give them something back.”