Inevitable confirmed – Blyth are relegated

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BLYTH Spartans suffered the agony of relegation over the Easter weekend for the first time in their 113-year history.

Their Blue Square Bet North fate was sealed on Saturday when they went down 3-2 to Gainsborough Trinity at Croft Park while Vauxhall Motors took all three points at Solihull Motors.

Spartans will now ply their trade in the Evo-Stik Premier Division next season.

After the game Blyth boss Tommy Cassidy said he was “very, very disappointed to be relegated. But we have to stay positive”.

He added: “It hurts but it can’t be a case of heads down saying it’s going to be terrible.

“If we’re in the top six of the Evo-Stik Premier in September, October, we’ll get 600, 700 here.

“We have to stay positive, because I just feel I’ve been in charge of 18 games and I can honestly say that we could have won more than half of them.

“We didn’t, and that means we’re missing something, some crucial things. I’ve got to solve that problem.”

Blyth started Saturday’s game well with Robbie Dale and Graeme Armstrong both going close, but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock.

Jordan Mellish lost possession to Shane Clarke and the Blyth man was then adjudged to have tripped the midfielder in his attempt to win the ball back, and Ryan Kendall made no mistake from the spot.

But just before the half hour mark Blyth hit back.

Andy Ferrell’s free kick was headed in by Armstrong.

Four minutes into the second half Blyth took the lead.

Dale’s cross was touched on by Armstrong and Taylor turned in a left-foot volley.

Knight then saved from Jonathan D’Laryea and Clarke, and Dale blocked a Luke Waterfall header. At the other end, Wayne Phillips tested Trinity keeper Mike Emery before he denied Armstrong.

On 75 minutes referee Ricky Wooton angered the Croft Park faithful when he adjudged Taylor to have fouled Mathew Godden and Leon Mettam equalised with the free kick.

Blyth responded and Armstrong, Dan Groves and Taylor all went close.

But it was all over on 83 minutes when a push on Groves was ignored and Clarke beat Knight.

Blyth Spartans: Knight, Groves, Mellish, Buchanan, Kendrick, Taylor, Hodgson, Ferrell (Hooks 70), Phillips, Dale, Armstrong (Mason 81).

Attendance: 392.

Spartans have three games remaining in the Blue Square Bet North.

On Saturday they entertain Hyde United, then on April 21 it is Hinckley United away before the curtain comes down on the season at Croft Park on April 28 when Nuneaton Town are the visitors.