Spartans held for their first draw

It has taken until the 30th game of the season for Blyth Spartans to pick up their first draw of the 2017/18 season, but the men from Croft Park will be disappointed to come away with just a point in a 1-1 draw with FC United of Manchester.

Monday, 22nd January 2018, 15:05 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd January 2018, 15:05 pm
Blyth Spartans AFC.

Sean Reid had given Spartans a second-half lead after latching on to a fantastic diagonal ball from Robert Dale – finishing with aplomb through the legs of Lloyd Allinson.

However, a 70th-minute equaliser from player-manager Tom Greaves stole a point for the travelling Red Rebels – tapping home after Craig Lindfield had cannoned a stunning strike of the crossbar, onto the post and into the path of Greaves.

It was a match of few chances – especially in the first 45 minutes.

Blyth had an early penalty appeal turned aside, and Allinson made a point-blank save from Ryan Hutchinson.

Lindfield should have netted the opener for FC United but he squandered a chance with just Jameson to beat.

On the half-hour mark, Hopson went close for the home side but both sides cancelled each other out in the run up to half-time.

Early in the second half, Reid missed a glorioius chance to put Spartans in front, heading wide, before Jarrett Rivers found space down the right, forcing Allinson into making a save low to his left.

The deadlock was broken when Dale played a diagonal ball towards the penalty area and Reid finished through the legs of Allinson.

A crowd of 985 then saw the return of striker Dan Maguire, but Blyth were hit with an almighty sucker-punch when Damen Mullen was dispossessed and Lindfield broke into the penalty area.

Lindfield hit a thunderous right-footed effort off the crossbar, onto the post and back into the six-yard box where player-manager Greaves guided the ball into the top right-hand corner to the joy of the visiting crowd.

The goal took the wind out of Spartans’ sails as a cagey 10 minutes ensued. With 10minutes remaining, Spartans lifted their play again, Nathan Buddle heading a Rivers corner straight at Allinson.

Rivers then went close near the end, but there were no further goals and Spartans had to settle for a solitary point with a draw.