Confidence-boosting win as Spartans look set for opener
Blyth Spartans will go into their opening league game at home to Alfreton Town this weekend with a confidence-boosting win over Stockton Town under their belt.
Robbie Dale and Josh Gillies scored a brace apiece as Spartans thrashed Stockton 5-1 in their final pre-season match at Croft Park.
Spartans went ahead after a quickfire blitz, with Gillies scoring twice within a minute, then Dale grabbing a third.
Jamie Owens pulled one back for Stockton three minutes before the interval.
Dale volleyed home Blyth’s fourth ten minutes into the second half, before Connor Thomson completed the scoring on 76 minutes.
Spartans dominated the opening exchanges, before going ahead within the first quarter of an hour.
Dale found Maguire with an excellent ball, the striker turned his man and looked set to shoot, before laying across goal to Gillies, who had the easiest of finishes.
Then, in the blink of an eye he had his second. This time he was picked out by Michael Liddle, before turning and finishing into the bottom corner.
Spartans weren’t finished there and had a third soon after. JJ O’Donnell showed excellent feet to dig out a cross for Maguire, he couldn’t find space for the shot so teed up Dale who hammered it in from the edge of the box.
It took half an hour for the visitors to register a shot, when Owens cut onto his left foot 25 yards out and fired narrowly wide.
Stockton began to press and Owens latched onto through ball and finished into the bottom corner just before half time.
In the second half Maguire fired into the side netting before Dale lashed a fine volley into the bottom corner.
There were further chances at both ends, but Spartans continued to look dangerous, and the substitute Thomson got a deserved goal after breaking forward on the left wing and firing into the bottom corner.
Callum Roberts continued to impress in goal as he denied Thomson and Lewis McNall twice in the closing stages as Spartans poured forward. The keeper was then grateful for the woodwork as Corey McKeown’s wonderful effort clattered off the bar.
On this evidence, Michael Nelson’s side look raring to go as the league season kicks off.