A Dan Maguire hat-trick earned Blyth Spartans a comprehensive win at Buxton on Saturday.
In his 150th appearance for the green and whites, Maguire regained his scoring touch courtesy of a new pair of boots which almost did not make the game after he remembered at the last minute he had left them on the team coach.
Spartans started the brighter and had two early opprtunities from free kicks but both came to nothing.
The visitors took the lead on 14 minutes when Andrew Cartwright drove in to the opposition half. Fine interplay between Matty Wade and Jordan Watson resulted in Dan Maguire’s drive being deflected over Buxton’s Barnes and in to the top corner of the net.
Maguire came close to extending Blyth’s lead on 24 minutes when his shot was palmed away by keeper Barnes. Little was seen of Buxton as Blyth dominated play.
They went ahead on 31 minutes when Robbie Dale robbed Ricky Ravenhill, advanced forward and slid a precise ball through to Maguire who took his time before coolly slotting past, despite the close attentions of Joel Bembo-Leta.
The final five minutes of the half saw Buxton have their best spell in the game so far, albeit without them ever look like breaking down Blyth’s organised defence.
Within minutes of the restart Cartwright sent a delicious 30-yard ball over the top of the Buxton back four which found Michael Richardson in space but his shot was blocked.
The hosts then seized the initiative from the Spartans, although only briefly. Alistair Taylor turned six yards out and shot across the face of goal but Cartwright was on hand to clear.
Within seconds Taylor shot once more and on this occasion Fabian Otte in the Blyth goal rose to parry his effort away and to safety.
Blyth responded by upping their game and Richardson was denied again as Barnes saved.
However the visitors pressure told on 57 minutes when neat play between Maguire and Dale set up Damen Mullen 20 yards from goal and he calmly stroked the ball, with an air of nonchalance, in to the top corner of Barnes’ net.
Only three minutes later Maguire completed his hat-trick when he caught Barnes napping with a crisp 25-yard drive.
Maguire came close again, as did Mullen, before Buxton’s Green and Barraclough sent long range efforts over the Blyth bar.
Maguire could have added to his tally in the final minute but sliced his effort wide.
Nevertheless it was an emphatic victory for a Blyth squad which carries itself with the assurance of one which seems to acknowledge its own quality and yet is still aware of even better things to come.
Blyth Spartans: F Otte, A Cartwright, J Watson, D Morse (Hutchinson 70), D Parker, D Mullen, A Wearmouth (A Nicholson 62), M Richardson (P Robinson 76), D Maguire, M Wade, R Dale.
Subs not used: A Davis, S Reid.