Travelling takes its toll on Spartans

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IT has been a tough week for Tom Wade and his Blyth Spartans side.

Three tough away trips and three defeats meaning that his team had nothing to show for journeys that totalled more than 900 miles.

As the season hits the business end, Spartans’ schedule has thrown up some tough runs of games before the end of the season, and Wade feels that the impact of all that travelling was on display as Ilkeston FC ran out 3-1 winners.

He said: “The travelling has been a massive thing for us.

“The FC United game was a big drain on us against a quality side and it took it out of us.

“That showed in the second half against Ashton and again today in the last 20 minutes.

“You could see what the three away games has done to us.”

Joe Kendrick became Spartans top goalscorer this season with a second half header from a Stephen Turnbull corner, and Wade revealed that he had identified set pieces as something to improve on when he took over.

Wade and new assistant John Cornforth have seen their training work pay off with three goals in the last four games from set pieces, and Wade puts that down to simple organisation.

He revealed “We have worked on set pieces and they know their jobs from set pieces now.

“Me and John have worked on ensuring everyone knows their roles and we have three goals from set pieces now over the last three or four games.

“It’s a positive but we are just starting out here and it’s like putting building blocks together, that’s just one little bit of it and we need to improve elsewhere.”

League leaders North Ferriby United travel to Croft Park on Monday looking for a third consecutive win over Spartans, but Wade feels that there is one key factor that could help his side improve and finally get a result against the Villagers.

As a lifelong Spartans supporter, Wade is only too aware of how big the Croft Park faithful can be for the players, but he insisted that the responsibility to lift the Green Army has to come from those on the pitch.

He said: “They are a good side and we have played really well against them twice without any reward.

“The Croft Park crowd are massive for us and I have said it before and will say it again, but they are huge for us and we need their support.

“The players want their support but know that they have to raise the crowd as much as the crowd need to help them.”