Blyth Spartans wait to kick off new year

The weather was the latest culprit to hit Blyth Spartans’ stop-start campaign in the National League North.

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 10:57 am
Spartans celebrate scoring during their 2-2 draw with Gateshead on Boxing Day. Picture: Bill Broadley

Last Saturday’s clash with Alfreton Town at Croft Park was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Spartans’ ground staff covered the pitch as best as possible but due to the adverse weather conditions and freezing temperatures overnight, the match referee deemed it unplayable.

The fixture will be rescheduled for a date to be announced in due course.

The game is the second postponement for Spartans so far this year, following the calling-off of the trip to Gateshead on January 2 after a positive Covid-19 test at the club.

The Blyth management, players and backroom staff went through a period of self isolation following the new year set-back, which came hot on the heels of a Christmas period that brought mixed fortunes for Michael Nelson’s team.

Blyth fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Gateshead in a fiercely contested derby on Boxing Day.

Liam Agnew and Corey McKeown scored their first goals for the club, the former responding to Greg Olley’s 21st minute goal and McKeown netting a superb strike to cancel out Jordan Preston’s strike on 37 minutes.

However, Spartans’ last competitive outing ended in disappointment when they suffered a heavy 6-0 loss at Darlington on December 28.

Poor defending proved costly for Blyth, who were 3-0 behind at half-time following goals from Erico Sousa, Adam Campbell and Jarrett Rivers.

Blyth had chances but the Quakers rubber-stamped their authority with a brace from Tyrone O’Neill and a Dan Maguire strike in the final 20 minutes.

Spartans will now hope for better fortunes in Saturday’s scheduled trip to AFC Fylde.

Meanwhile, Paul Blackett will return to Gateshead after the Tyneside club exercised an option to recall him from his loan. During his time at Spartans, Blackett scored six times in 10 appearances.

Blackett said: “I want to thank everyone at Blyth for making me feel so welcome.

“I’d also like to thank the gaffer for giving me the opportunity to play, which I’m very grateful for.”