Michael Nelson calls for Blyth Spartans to 'grow up quickly' after Kettering defeat
Michael Nelson has called on his Blyth Spartans players to “grow up quickly” after they suffered a third consecutive defeat against Kettering Town.
Spartans ventured to Latimer Park looking to move on from home defeats against Hereford and York City against a Poppies side that were sat just three points above them in the National League North table.
Gateshead loanee JJ O’Donnell and Spartans under-19s forward Jamie Clark were handed debuts by Nelson – but they were unable to inspire a reaction in their side as they fell to a 2-1 defeat in Northamptonshire.
The hosts took a two-goal lead into half-time thanks to Ryan Fryatt and Callum Powell as Spartans failed to heed warnings over their proficiency at set-pieces.
Kurtis Russell gave Nelson’s side some hope of mounting a comeback as his cross-shot deceived Poppies keeper Adam Collin to give him his first goal for the club.
But Spartans were unable to find an equaliser despite some late pressure and that left Nelson to deliver a strong assessment of what his players need to do to improve on their poor run of form.
He said: “We need men out there and I am not saying that we have to go out and recruit a load of men.
“Some of the lads need to grow up quickly and try and put in a man’s performance.
“We are asking young lads to try and play against lads that have hundreds of games under their belts.
“We are asking young boys to go out and put a performance in.
“They can do it, Jamie Clark did it and he was probably the one bright spark.
“He’s done well with the under-19’s, we brought him in for three or four sessions with the first-team and he has held his own.
“His opportunity came, was it too soon or not, we stuck him in, he has no fear, and that’s how he played.
“I said to the lads that there should be a few lads that are embarrassed that he is the shining light – and I include myself in that because I was on the pitch.”
Spartans return to action on Tuesday night when Boston United make the trip to Croft Park.