DESPITE seeing his side lose 5-1 at Marine on Saturday, Blyth Spartans assistant manager Tom Wade took some positives from the performance.
“Actually we were half decent,” he said.
“Our attitude and commitment were tremendous but having injuries and suspensions meant we had to play some youngsters from the start, which is difficult.
“Marine were on top for the first 25 minutes but weren’t really dominating. Then we became more competitive but they took their chances well.”
Blyth went in three goals down at the interval but came out fighting after the restart.
Wade added: “For the first ten minutes we did really well but we didn’t clear the ball for their fourth goal, and I thought we should have had a free kick in the lead up to the fifth goal.
“We went on to create fantastic chances in the final half hour and were on top.
“Marcus Maddison had three one-on-ones but the Marine keeper made some fantastic saves.
“We finished the fitter side and their manager even commented that the score could have been 5-5.
“It was disappointing that Tom Berj and Darryl Donnelly declared themselves unfit during the warm-up.
“There was even more pressure on the youngsters who had to start the game.
“Ideally we need to get to the position where we can bring the younger lads on for the last 20 minutes rather than having them start.
Wade, however, praised three of his youthful cohort.
“Dan McGuire, Marcus Maddison (who went on to score the Spartans’ goal) and Jack Stanger were our best players on the day.
“It was a big game for Jack but he did well, kept going though the full 90 minutes and never gave up.”
Blyth expect to have Shaun Vipond and Damon Mullen back for the visit of Witton on Saturday, but Neal Hooks and Sam Hodgson are not expected to be back from injury for another two or three weeks.
Striker Ryan McGorrigan is still suspended and will miss the Witton game.
Meanwhile central defender Jordan Mellish has moved to South Shields.
Wade said: “Jordan is coming back from a bad facial injury so needs to get games under his belt to fully regain his fitness, so we gave South Shields the heads up and he has gone there.”