Mullen wants Blyth Spartans team-mates to build on momentum

After playing his part in Blyth Spartans’ fifth win in a row, full back Damen Mullen challenged his side to build on the momentum as they prepare to welcome fellow play-off challengers Ilkeston to Croft Park on Tuesday night.

Mullen and his team-mates put four goals past Stamford and stretched their unbeaten run to nine, meaning they are right amongst the play-off challengers as they moved into the top ten of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

The former Morpeth Town man admitted that the mood in the Spartans camp is high but he wants them to make the most of that when Kevin Wilson’s side venture from Derbyshire to Northumberland on Tuesday evening.

He said: “Confidence is high and we know the football we are playing now is excellent.

“We are getting the ball down and passing it about, I don’t think teams will want to come up here and face us when we are playing like this.

“We have to carry on this momentum and keep doing what we are doing.”

It took Tom Wade’s side until the half hour mark to break the stalemate against Stamford, as Matthew Wade hit a stunning 20-yard strike to edge his side in front.

Up until that point the Daniels has threatened, although without carrying too much attacking threat.

However, once in front, Spartans took over and dominated possession and territory.

And Mullen always felt that his side would go on to win the game once they had got the opener.

“Obviously the opening stages of any game can be a bit all over the place and it takes a while for it to settle sometimes,” he said.

“Once it did we got the ball down and dictated the way the game went.

“We deserved the win and we could sense it was coming once we got ahead.”

Former Newcastle United man Michael Richardson was named sponsors’ man of the match as the midfielder put in a non-stop, all-action display in the engine room.

He grabbed his second goal in a week after scoring the winner at Rushall Olympic seven days earlier, and Mullen was delighted to see his team-mate get the recognition for a performance the full back described as “excellent”.

Mullen added: “Michael probably hasn’t had the chances he could have had since he has come in, but he has been playing well recently.

“He came off the bench at Rushall Olympic last Saturday and got the winner and he played well on Tuesday against Ramsbottom, so he is getting into his stride now, but today he was excellent and fully deserves the plaudits he is getting.”

So now it is on to a tough challenge for Tom Wade’s side as Ilkeston make the trip to Croft Park on Tuesday evening.

Kevin Wilson’s side are one of the most attractive in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, something Mullen acknowledged.

However, he also feels that his side can look to several reasons as to why they can be positive going into the game, including having the Green Army right behind them.

“They are a good side and it’s the toughest game of the recent games we have had,” he said.

“They play decent football and like to get forward, and that is how we play, but as I said the mood we are in, the confidence we have and with the supporters behind us as they are, nobody will want to come up here.”