Dale inspires Blyth Spartans fight back against Marine

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Blyth Spartans’ captain for the day Robbie Dale was the inspiration behind a spirited fight back as they came from two goals behind to grab a point against Marine.

That came after Marine were gifted two early Christmas presents that put Phil Brazier’s side ahead.

But a John Shaw own goal and a Dan Maguire strike ten minutes into the second half ensured that the points were shared at Croft Park.

The first five minutes saw the two sides trades half chances with Craig Hubbard and Lewis Horner trying their chances from distance and Joe Fowler driving across goal for the visitors.

The first real chance of the game fell to Fowler after he was released in on goal by a defence splitting pass by Michael Monaghan. But the Mariners winger was denied by Spartans keeper Michal Misiewicz.

On 18 minutes the visitors took the lead with a goal that was handed to them on a plate.

Misiewicz took a back pass from Arjun Purewal and tried to play it out to Ryan Cummings only for it to be under hit and once again Fowler was in on goal but this time he made no mistake.

That lead was doubled just after the half hour mark as another Fowler helped put Spartans to the sword. This time is was not Joe but Andrew Fowler who hit a pinpoint free kick into the area that found the head of Michael Monaghan and the Marine academy product crashed home an eight-yard header with the Spartans defence statuesque.

A constant feature of the first half was the tormenting of Mariners full back Sam Barnes by Dale.

The Spartans winger had the former Hednesford Town man twisted inside out and it was another one of these raids that got Spartans back in the game four minutes before the break.

Dale ghosted past Barnes easily before crashing a cross across the face of goal that was diverted into his own net by the visitors captain Shaw.

Dale almost levelled things on the stroke of half-time as a clever one-two with Nathan Buddle saw the winger curl a left footed effort just over the bar.

That meant the visitors went into the break a goal ahead but Spartans had built some momentum.

With the words of Tom Wade and Colin Myers ringing in their ears Spartans came out of the break looking determined and started the second half on top.

There were big appeals for a penalty just seven minutes into the second period as a quick corner from Maguire saw the forward receive a pass back from Paul Robinson. Maguire cut inside on his right foot and struck a low effort at the far corner that was cleared off the line by Louis Corrigan with Spartans players and supporters both appealing vociferously for a spot kick. Referee Shaun Hudson remained unmoved.

Minutes later Maguire’s time had come as he completed Spartans comeback.

Marine keeper Callum Williams produced a stunning stop from a Robinson thunderbolt but the rebound fell to Maguire who made no mistake from point blank range.

Just after the hour mark Maguire almost gave his side the lead as he got a toe to a wonderful volleyed cross from Dale, however, the forward could only divert the ball just over the bar.

As full time crept closer both sides went for the win only to be disappointed through a combination of poor finishing and strong defending.

Only a last ditch tackle from Tony Rendell denied Lewis Horner his maiden goal for Spartans and Will Jones could have snatched the win for the Mariners but drove across goal when well placed on the far side of the area.

Full time finally came and for all of their endeavour both sides had to settle for a point in a game of high intensity and entertainment at Croft Park.

Spartans’ man of the match was Paul Robinson.

Attendance: 272.

Blyth Spartans: Misiweicz, Cummings, Purewal, Buddle, Watson, Horner, Robinson, Mullen, Dale, Hubbard (Hooks 78), Maguire. Subs not used: Kendrick, Parker, Wade, Grant.