Blyth Spartans’ final away day of the season brings three points

Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade with two of the team's fans in party mood before the final away game of the season at Matlock Town.
Blyth Spartans manager Tom Wade with two of the team's fans in party mood before the final away game of the season at Matlock Town.

Blyth Spartans made their final away trip of the season to Matlock Town on Saturday and came away with all three points.

And the 2-0 win in Derbyshire keep their Championship hopes alive.

It proved to be a dour game brightened only by a huge number of Spartans fans dressed in multi coloured Hawaiian dress, and two goals of quality.

Blyth only took five minutes to take the lead. Matty Wade found Sean Reid centrally placed and 25 yards from goal the midfielder took two paces forward before unleashing a stunning strike which powered in to the top corner with goalkeeper George Willis wel beaten.

The Gladiators responded when Craig Nelthorpe’s powerful effort was goal-bound before defender Dillon Morse flung himself in the way and the danger was cleared.

Blyth lost Aaron Wearmouth after 25 minutes, the winger injured in falling awkwardly. Michael Richardson replaced him on the right.

Damen Mullen fired wide for Blyth before Matlock forward Joel Purkiss shot narrowly past Adam McHugh’s right hand post.

Soon after the break Blyth lost central defender Nathan Buddle due to injury with Danny Parker replacing him.

Purkiss went close again for the home side but it was Blyth who were having marginally the better of the game.

Mullen tried his luck once more after 55 minutes but his long range effort cleared the bar.

Within minutes Mullen had another attempt from 25 yards and this time his searing shot flew across and above Willis in to the top corner for a spectacular goal.

Reid went close on 65 minutes after being played in by Richardson, but Willis was quickly off his line to collect.

Then Dan Maguire escaped the attentions of defender Ben Algar but delayed his shot and Matlock were able to clear.

Reid fired a free kick just over the bar before, in the final minutes, it needed a last ditch tackle from Adam Yates to deny Blyth’s Wilson Kneeshaw.

The Spartans fans, a tumultuous riot of colour and noise, greeted the final whistle with impromptu dancing on the terraces. It was as much a general celebration of Blyth’s splendid season as anything else.

Blyth conclude their campaign with two home games. Firstly on Tuesday when Rushall Olympic travel to Croft Park, kick-off 7.45pm, and then on Saturday when Marine are the visitors, kick-off 3pm.

Spartans are guaranteed second place in the table should they not win the league outright,case t in which he play-off semi-final would take place at Croft Park on Tuesday, April 26, with a kick-off time of 7.45pm.

Attendance: 586.

Blyth Spartans: A McHugh, A Cartwright, J Watson, N Buddle (D Parker 53), D Morse, D Mullen, A Wearmouth (M Richardson 25), S Reid, D Maguire (W Kneeshaw 75), M Wade, R Dale. Subs not used: A Nicholson, P Robinson.