As far as Christmas presents go, Blyth Spartans gave midfielder Joel Dixon a priceless one at Grantham Town.
The former Frickley Athletic man grabbed his first goal for the club as he scored the second in a 7-1 hammering of the Lincolnshire outfit.
Dixon described it as “a brilliant day” and stressed the importance of his side making up for lost time as they seek to take advantage of the numerous games in hand they have on other teams in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.
“It’s been a brilliant day. The main thing for us was to come down to Grantham and get the three points,” he said.
“We know we are playing catch up in the league so to beat a team in such good form in such an emphatic way meant it was a great day for everyone connected with the club.”
Spartans were already a goal up when Dixon’s big moment arrived in the 27th minute. He latched on to a Dan Maguire cross before lashing the ball past Gingerbreads keeper Dan Haystead, although the Yorkshireman joked that the quality of his first touch was somewhat surprising and that if anyone was in doubt what they goal meant to him they should take a look at his reaction after seeing the ball hit the back of net.
“I was shocked that I controlled the ball so well and managed to get another touch in before putting it into the net,” he said.
“It’s a strange feeling and to get my first goal for the club was great. I think you could see from my celebration what it meant to me.”
Up amongst the most frequently used clichés in football has to be that it is harder to play against ten men than 11 sometimes. That is the predicament Spartans found themselves in when Town winger Ben Fairclough was dismissed early in the second half for a cynical tackle on Alex Nicholson.
At the time Spartans were well out of sight of their hosts, but Dixon paid tribute to his team-mates who carried on their domination of the game with another two goals late on.
He added: “Sometimes it can be hard but the coaches here do a fantastic job and tell us to stay professional throughout.
“That spurred us on even when we were ahead by three or four and they had the lad sent off.
“It really should have been more but I think we kept our composure and kept it going.”