Stand-in Spartans boss cock-a-hoop over victory

Lee Picton.
Lee Picton.
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Blyth Spartans boss Tom Wade missed his first ever game as a manager or coach on Saturday when his side travelled to the West Midlands to take on Halesowen Town, leaving his assistant, Lee Picton, to take charge.

Wade was forced to miss the 1-0 victory after being struck down by bronchitis.

Picton was delighted to return home with three points after stepping into the breach, saying: “It was a huge win for us, a thoroughly encouraging three points.

“It was a slow start, but when you travel four and a half hours on the coach, you don’t expect to immediately play your normal brand of football from the off.

“There was a slight breeze and slope against us in the first half, and it took a little time for us to find our feet.

“We struggled to look after the ball high up the pitch and couldn’t get a foothold in their territory, but in the second half, we were much improved and were able to hold the ball and move it around much better.

“It was definitely a penalty for me when Robbie Dale was fouled. It was a big, clear tug on his shirt.

“I think we went on to play better in the second half as the wetter the pitch got, the more it took a bit of the bounce and bobble out of the surface.

“We could have scored a couple more goals perhaps, but a clean sheet away from home is always great.”

Picton added: “Fortunately, Sean Reid’s injury doesn’t look as serious as it did at first, but with Dan Maguire out too, we may need to look to bring in someone this week to cover that potential gap up top.”