Conceding within three minutes of the start and just about surviving a torrid onslaught for the next 15 minutes, few would have given under the cosh Blyth Spartans much of a chance of surviving further torture never mind them going on to win the game. In some style too.
Manager Tom Wade was just as surprised as anyone else after his side’s 4-2 win at Stafford Rangers on Saturday.
“To be honest at quarter of an hour in to the game, and after conceding a daft penalty, I couldn’t see us picking up the three points,” he said.
“It was strange because before the game I had a gut feeling it might be our day and the lads were up for it.
“It was just one of those starts after which you have to hope things will improve.”
Improve they did after 28 minutes when Daniel Maguire equalised with a dazzling overhead kick.
“We deserved Dan’s goal because we’d started to slowly take hold of the game,” he said.
“We went on to do really well for most of the rest of the game.”
Goals by Robbie Dale and two from Craig Hubbard put Blyth 4-1 up before Rangers pulled one back 12 minutes from time.
Wade added: “It was a great performance and it was good to see us keeping going for 90 minutes.
“The players are really starting to buy in to what we are trying to do.”
He picked out striker Andy Jennings for praise.
“Andy did really well. He’s been away on holiday recently and I spoke to him saying he had to come back to us wanting to be here,” he said.
“We played better to his strengths on Saturday. He’s good in the air but deceptively good on the deck too.
“It’s a shame the game wasn’t at our place so that our fans could see him perform so well.”
Wade suggested that Jennings’ partnership with Maguire was beginning to flourish.
“They did well together at Stafford. Dan himself was struggling a little but, did superbly in the build up to our second goal.
“He’s been ploughing a lone furrow recently but he’s now blossoming in to an all round player and not just a runner.”
The Blyth boss mused on a customary issue.
He added: “It’s a shame but we won’t be able to field the same team at AFC Fylde on Tuesday.
“It’s a problem we’ve had all season. Ritchie Slaughter, Damen Mullen and Craig Hubbard are unavailable but we do have Neil Hooks and Jordan Mellish returning.”