Dale hat-trick as Spartans put four past Belper

Blyth Spartans scored four times in an away game for the second time in a week but were made to sweat by a determined Belper Town side before sealing a 4-3 win.

With a three-goal lead in the bag, mainly thanks to a sublime Robbie Dale hat-trick, two late goals from Jon Froggatt and Steve Warne saw a nervy end to the game for Tom Wade’s men.

It was the hosts who started the game on the front foot as they swarmed all over Spartans and duly took the lead on six minutes.

Winger Rob Stevenson broke into the left hand side of the area but was impeded by Ryan Hutchinson and referee Mark Griffiths awarded a penalty, which saw Ian Ross send Peter Jeffries the wrong way to gave the Nailers the lead their promising start had deserved.

Blyth took their time to get going but when they did it was Dale who was the dangerman.

On 16 minutes he danced past three Town defenders but he was closed down by James Martin sufficiently enough to allow the keeper to block his low drive.

The equaliser came on 25 minutes and was scored by Dan Maguire, but it came courtesy of the magic of Dale.

The winger again broke down the right and was given time to pull the ball back to the penalty spot where Maguire controlled it before taking the chance.

Within minutes the hosts could have been back in front but Matt Varley could only head against the top of the bar as he met Ross’s vicious free kick from the left.

Ross was instrumental again moments later as the Spartans goal lived a charmed life. The midfielder’s cross from the left took a deflection before clipping Jeffries’ far post.

However, perhaps buoyed by their double let off, Spartans took control and Dale gave them the lead ten minutes before the break after an almighty scramble in the area.

Maguire saw a shot blocked by Martin and the striker’s follow-up was cleared off the line before the loose ball fell to Dale who forced it over the line.

A minute later thye visitors extended their lead and again it was Dale who was the tormentor in chief as he was fouled in the area by Nailers full back Aaron Pride. Dale took the spot kick and blasted it low and hard into Martin’s right hand corner.

The second half was a slow burner and it took ten minutes to get going as Dale almost sealed a hat-trick. The hosts allowed Jeffries’ booming goal kick to fall to Dale on the edge of the area but he sent his shot just past the far post.

The hat-trick did arrive with just over 20 minutes left as Dale was fed by Maguire and curled a delightful shot into the far corner via the post from just inside the box.

That goal meant Dale went into fourth place in the club’s all time goalscorers list behind Brian Slane, Steve Pyle and George Pyke.

But within a minute the hosts were right back in it as Ross released Froggatt in on goal and the striker made no mistake, rolling confidently past the advancing Jeffries.

Chances came and went for Spartans to kill off the game with Maguire being denied twice within minutes, the second chance probably the best as he was played in on goal but could only fire over from the angle.

With a lengthy stoppage for a serious looking injury to Nailers winger Stevenson, there was seven minutes of injury time signalled.

In the fifth of these the hosts got back within a goal thanks to an excellent volley from captain Steve Warne as he connected well with a Hutchinson clearance and saw his dipping volley drop just inside Jeffries’ right hand post.

However, Spartans held on without any further chances and took all three points back to Northumberland and gave themselves a major boost as they travel back to Derbyshire next Saturday for the FA Cup third qualifying round tie with Mickleover Sports.

Blyth Spartans: Jeffries, Dixon, Watson (Mullen 86), Hutchinson, Buddle, Turnbull, Rivers (Wearmouth 77), Hawkins, Maguire, Wade, Dale (Quinn 90). Subs not used: Nicholson, Cummings.

Attendance: 245.