Maguire hat-trick as Blyth Spartans put six past Stafford

Dan Maguire completes his hat-trick in Blyth Spartans' 6-2 win over Stafford Rangers at Croft Park. Picture by Bill Broadley
Dan Maguire completes his hat-trick in Blyth Spartans' 6-2 win over Stafford Rangers at Croft Park. Picture by Bill Broadley

On a freezing January day there was an avalanche at Croft Park and it was Stafford Rangers who were caught cold as Blyth Spartans ran out 6-2 winners.

However, there is nothing cold about Spartans striker Dan Maguire who is in red hot form.

He notched his first hat-trick to make it ten goals in his last six Croft Park appearances as Spartans maintained their play-off push with a comfortable win over a beleaguered Rangers side.

With midfielders Paul Robinson and Craig Hubbard unavailable due to suspensions, manager Tom Wade chose to bring Ian Watson and Lewis Horner back into his starting line-up.

There have been many remarkable moments at Croft Park this season but the first 20 minutes of this game just about topped the lot.

Within six minutes Spartans had the lead through a wonderful goal from Maguire.

It was as cheeky as it was sublime with the in-form striker collecting a pinpoint through ball from Watson before spinning in behind the back four with an intricate first touch, and with Rangers keeper Jon Brain advancing Maguire dinked the ball over the former Carlisle United stopper and into the net.

Boosted by the all too rare early goal, Spartans doubled their lead three minutes later.

A delicate touch from Matthew Wade released Maguire in the left hand side of the area and he rolled the ball confidently past Brain at his near post.

A hat-trick for Maguire seemed inevitable and after scoring braces on numerous occasions he finally sealed his first treble for the club with another deadly finish.

But credit went to right back Nathan Buddle as his perfectly weighted long pass released Maguire beyond Darren Chadwick, and steadying himself by controlling with his chest he fired a lethal volley across goal and into the far corner.

With one first out of the way another was promptly cleared with Watson notching his maiden strike for Spartans to round off a remarkable opening spell.

There were just 22 minutes on the clock when the former Whitley Bay man broke into the area and played the ball to Wade. He scuffed a shot but Rangers defender Alex Melbourne made a hash of the clearance slicing it towards his own goal and Watson was left with a simple point blank header and he made no mistake.

A shellshocked Rangers side finally created abn opening just after the half hour mark as Andrew Griffiths lashed an unstoppable effort from 20 yards that Michal Misiewicz could only watch sail beyond him only for the effort to crash off the crossbar.

The final chance of the half fell to Spartans but Neal Hooks could only volley just wide of the near post after yet more good work from Maguire.

An understandably quiet opening to the second half followed and it took until the hour mark for the next chance and the next goal.

After his recent good form it was Robbie Dale who got on the score sheet.

Maguire released Hooks on the edge of the box and the midfielder unselfishly played Dale in on the left hand side of the area and the winger took one touch inside Melbourne before crashing into the far corner for his sixth goal of the season.

With just over 20 minutes left the visitors finally got on the score sheet.

The unfortunate Buddle diverted a Louis Harris cross into his own net, although to be fair to the former Hartlepool United defender if he had not done so Rangers striker Karl Ashton certainly would have.

Just four minutes later they pulled another goal back with a wonderful strike from Andrew Griffiths.

Some hard work from Daniel Cope saw him roll the ball back to Griffiths who struck first time from all of 20 yards and into the top left hand corner of Misiewicz’s net.

The final word went to Spartans, and on a day where they played some fantastic football it seemed only too right.

A Maguire corner from the right hand side found its way to Wade. The midfielder held off the challenge of Chadwick before spinning on the ball and rifling into the top corner of the net from 12 yards.

It was a goal that summed up an amazing game that warmed even the coldest of bodies at Croft Park.

Spartans’ man of the match was Maguire.

Blyth Spartans: Misiweicz, Buddle, Parker, Purewal (Cummings 66), Kendrick, Hooks (Mullen 70), Horner, Wade, Dale, Maguire, Watson (Wearmouth 60), Subs not used: Grant, Wearmouth.

Attendance: 315.