Wade delighted with Spartans’ battling win over Barwell

Despite playing with only ten men for most of the game, Blyth Spartans beat Barwell 2-1 on Saturday.

And manager Tom Wade, not unreasonably, was pleased.

“To be honest, I think both sides made a lethargic start, which was maintained through most of the first half,” he said.

“I think we still had the Whitby game, which was only two days earlier, in our legs and Barwell had had a long journey.

“Plus the Croft Park pitch was heavy and neither side really got going till the sending off of Paul Robinson after 40 minutes.

“I think the referee made the correct decision.

“Robbo lashed out at their player and you can’t do that.

“Mind you, some of their players were guilty of similar offences but got away with them.”

Blyth took the lead only three minutes after the restart through Daniel Maguire.

“Barwell were tending to play route one football and we were doing our best to keep the ball down and play football, and it worked out well when Nipa [Maguire] managed to put us ahead,” said Wade.

Barwell equalised with a quarter of an hour remaining before Maguire popped up again to score his second on 85 minutes.

Wade said: “Nipa was absolutely total class on Saturday. He worked so hard all day and put in one heck of a shift, so to keep his composure after all that and score a fine goal was tremendous.

“His energy and enthusiasm shone through. He actually deserved a hat-trick and we could have won three or four nil.”

The visitors did come out of their shell in the final ten minutes.

“Towards the end of the game Barwell threw caution to the wind and started to have a go at us,” said the Blyth boss.

“I was surprised they didn’t do that earlier and we rode our luck a little, but we should have been out of sight by then.

“You could see that the players want to play for the club. We may not win every game but our work rate will never be in doubt.”

Looking ahead to the New Year’s Day fixture at home to Stockbridge Park Steels, Wade said: “I basically had a bench of injured players last weekend, barring Conor Grant, but I’m hoping with four days rest that I will have a full squad to pick from for the Stocksbridge game.

“They have recently signed some young players from Sheffield United so we will have no easy task, but I hope our crowd will get behind us again as they did on Saturday.

“The hard core are brilliant supporters – just fantastic.

“They understand what we are trying to do at the club and they pulled us through that difficult conclusion to the Barwell match when we needed them.”