Injuries hit Spartans hard in Rushall Olympic draw

Action from Blyth Spartans' 3-3 draw with Rushall Olympic. Picture by Bill Broadley
Action from Blyth Spartans' 3-3 draw with Rushall Olympic. Picture by Bill Broadley

Injuries to two key players were instrumental in Blyth Spartans not securing all three points against Rushall Olympic at Croft Park on Saturday, according to boss Tom Wade.

They were denied the win by a controversial injury time penalty the visitors scored.

Wade said: “We did all right really, but when Wadey [Matty Wade] and Hutchy [Ryan Hitchinson] got injured it was a disaster for us.

“With Danny Parker they are our three proper defensive players. Full backs Damen Mullen and Alex Nicholson like to bomb on and centre midfielders Stephen Turnbull and Neal Hooks like to get forward as well.

“We’d looked pretty comfortable till they had to go off around the half hour mark. After that, because of changes in two key positions, we were disjointed.

“To be honest Rushall could have been ahead but Nick Thomson in goal made some great saves; throughout the game actually.

“Their number nine, Aaron Williams, ran us ragged all afternoon. He was really sharp, as was winger Jake Heath.

“They were a good big strong physical side and we looked a yard short of what we have been recently.”

An added time penalty decision against his side which resulted in the visitors making it 3-3, had Wade apoplectic.

“It was never a penalty,” he said. “Danny [Parker] won the ball and their kid kicked him.

“You can’t coach a side to deal with a bad decision by the ref.

“Mind, we had the majority of the possession during the game but couldn’t put it to bed. I just sensed a sucker punch coming from somewhere.”

Matthew Wade took a knock to the head early on in the game resulting in blurred vision.

He was later given the all clear following a trip to hospital. Hutchinson received a dead-leg.

Both are doubtful for Tuesday’s home game against Barwell.

Meanwhile defender Jordan Watson could return to the squad for Thursday’s match at Ramsbottom or Saturday’s fixture at home to Stourbridge.