Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade hailed Saturday’s 3-1 win over Coalville Town and agreed with the decision that saw his side reduced to ten men.
Nathan Buddle was sent off when he kicked out at a Coalville player in the first half, forcing Spartans to play with a man less for over 50 minutes.
Blyth not only held on to their lead following the dismissal but were able to extend it further late into the second half, much to the delight of Wade.
He said: “The win is important. We played really well in spells.
“The sending off would hurt a lot of sides, but we managed it pretty well from the bench. We got the lads to set up in a 4-4-1 and they didn’t put us under much pressure.
“Normally, if we played a team with ten men, we’d stretch the play and try and outplay them. However, they were pretty content to try for a draw and I don’t think they went for it fully as we’d then have tried to catch them on the break.
“We’ve got a fantastic changing room and I think that’s what won us the game. It’s a great result.”
There was confusion around Croft Park when referee John Mathews ran over to speak with his assistant and then showed Buddle a red card for an off-the-ball incident, but Wade couldn’t help but agree with the decision following the “mistake” by the centre-back.
He added: “It’s a sending off and the referee got it spot on. The lads were saying that there was a bit of argy-bargy and Budds has kicked the lad on the backside.
“He’s a young lad and a great talent, but the lads are going to make mistakes and we have to accept that.
“It just happened at the wrong time as we were strolling the game and I think it would have been a much bigger score, but it happens. We’re not going to focus on it though.
“He has his suspension to serve now and we have five centre-backs at the club, so it gives someone else a chance.”
Buddle’s red card saw Spartans’ second goalscorer Shaun Reid drop back from midfield to play alongside Ryan Hutchinson in central defence, and Wade was full of praise for the makeshift defender’s fantastic performance.
“We could have put [Gavin] Caines or [Danny] Parker on, but when you’re in that game mode, it’s very hard to bring a central defender on and get them into that game mode straight away.
“I thought Reidy was outstanding and he was my man of the match, by a canny distance,” he said.
The actual man of the match award went to striker Daniel Maguire, who scored in each half with two outstanding finishes, and Wade was in high spirits after seeing the striker start the season at his best.
He said: “He looks sharp and we were missing him last season. Although he played a lot of games, he didn’t play as we know Danny Maguire plays.
“He was unplayable at times against Coalville and his work-rate was superb. He’s got the love of the game back and he’s looking like a good player again.”
A tough Tuesday night trip to Marine now follows for the Spartans, but that game holds no worries for the Blyth manager and he expects the game to suit Spartans’ strengths.
Wade said: “I think we’re better set up to play away from home. Teams come up to Blyth and they tend to sit back and hope to pinch a 1-0 and, at times, I think we struggle to break that down.
“Against Marine, they’ll come into the game, try to attack us and leave gaps behind them. That’s when we’re at our most dangerous, though.
“It’ll be a tough game because they’re a good side, but I’m looking forward to it. With the result against Coalville and the quality in our squad, I think we’ll do alright.”