Blyth Spartans suffer second consecutive one goal defeat
Blyth Spartans' bid to get back to winning ways after their 1-0 reverse at Sutton Coldfield the previous weekend did not go to plan at Croft Park on Saturday.
Halesowen left Northumberland with all three points thanks to a first half strike from Tyree Clark.
Blyth went in to the game without injured midfielder Matty Wade and defender Ryan Hutchinson after he broke his wrist in training earlier in the week.
The early pressure came from the visitors with Blyth’s Nathan Buddle being called upon on more than one occasion to clear the danger.
Halesowen went close to taking the lead on 12 minutes when Clark set up Kaiman Anderson but the striker’s volley was fisted away by Spartans keeper Adam McHugh.
Blyth had their own chances. An Arran Wearmouth right wing cross found the head of Wilson Kneeshaw six yards from goal, but his effort cleared the bar.
Then a surging run saw Alex Nicholson leave three defenders in his wake, but the full back scuffed his shot wide.
Blyth continued to have marginally the better of the game and a strong Robbie Dale run found Nicholson in space but his first time cross was just too strong for Wearmouth.
The home side had a good shout for a penalty in the 35th minute when Wearmouth appeared to be bundled over just inside the 18-yard box, but referee Ellis waved play on and Halesowen capitalised by storming forward and good passing between Ashley Parsons-Smith and Anderson set up Clark with time to slot past McHugh and give his side the lead.
Spartans responded and within minutes went close to equalising only for Sean Reid’s effort to be cleared off the line by Lewis Bradley.
Straight after the break another Reid effort was again cleared off the Halesowen goal line.
Play was scrappy but it was Blyth who had most of the possession, with the visitors disrupting the flow of the game.
Dale wriggled his was down the left wing but his low drive was well collected by Daniel Platt in the Halesowen goal. The same player then had an effort saved by Platt before a great opportunity to equalise went begging.
Kneeshaw turned smartly in the penalty box and found Buddle eight yards from goal, but the central defender’s right footed effort was dragged just wide of Platt’s post.
Blyth’s Damen Mullen fired into the side-netting from 22 yards before, in added time, it looked like Blyth’s efforts had been rewarded when a precise Dale cross was met by Wearmouth at the far post. His header appeared to be going in to the top corner before Platt brilliantly flung himself across to palm away.
A final flourish for the home side saw Kneeshaw volley over.
Despite the defeat Blyth are still seven points clear of Darlington although the latter have four games in hand on the Croft Park outfit.
Blyth’s next home game is on Saturday when Matlock Town visit Croft Park. Kick-off is 3pm.
Blyth Spartans: A McHugh, A Nicholson, J Watson, N Buddle, D Morse, D Mullen, A Wearmouth, P Robinson (M Richardson 70), W Kneeshaw, S Reid (D Maguire 60), R Dale. Subs not used: D Parker, N Hooks, A Cartwright.