Blyth Spartans produced their second dominant display inside three days as a mixture of sublime passing and movement and lethal finishing ensured that they put Hyde United to the sword.
Goals from Robbie Dale, Sean Reid and Dan Maguire ensured that the win, coupled with Darlington’s failure to win at Skelmersdale United, put Tom Wade’s side two points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik NPL premier division with a game in hand.
Within two minutes Spartans almost had an opener as Arran Wearmouth danced through two challenges on the right hand side of the Hyde area and unleashed a cross-shot that was tipped over the bar by the alert goalkeeping of loan debutant Jindric Stanek, of Everton.
The pressure was unrelenting, albeit with no goal to reward it.
However it should have come on seven minutes when Stephen Turnbull floated a ball to the far post that was met by the head of Matthew Wade, but the midfielder could only head over the crossbar.
The visitors’ only riposte was a 20-yard effort from Scott Spencer that never tested Fabian Otte as it went harmlessly over the crossbar.
Spartans hit back as a move involving Turnbull, Dale and Nicholson allowed the latter to release Maguire in the area. The striker hit a vicious, swerving effort that was tipped around the far post, showing the Premier League credentials of the on-loan Everton keeper.
The deadlock was broken on 22 minutes and unsurprisingly, given current form, it came from Dale. A feature of Saturday’s win over Mickleover Sports was the sublime crossfield passing of Dillon Morse and again the former Carlisle United man produced something out of the top drawer. His pass was met with a finish of equal quality as Dale struck a low, swerving drive that Stanek got a hand to but failed to keep it out.
That lead was almost doubled two minutes before the half hour mark and again it was Dale at the heart of the action.
The in-form winger was given time and space midway inside the Tigers half and swung a wonderful ball towards the far post that only just evaded the on-rushing Wearmouth and Reid.
Reid had much better luck on the half hour mark and again it was Dale who supplied the chance and this time Reid beat Stanek to the ball and made it three goals in two games for the former West Allotment Celtic man.
The visitors were reduced to ten men on 38 minutes as the assistant on the Ferguson Transport stand side alerted referee Geoff Liddle to an off the ball incident and Tigers winger Ben Jago was dismissed.
Things almost got even worse for the visitors when Matthew Wade flicked back for Reid and the midfielder struck the outside of the post with an effort.
Spartans started the second half on top, although without seriously testing Stanek.
Half chances came the way of Dale, albeit from distance, with the Tigers number one never called into the action.
The first genuine chance of the second period fell to Reid as the midfielder found a yard of space on the edge of the Tigers area and he tried to curl a left foot shot inside the right hand upright. However, Stanek produced a fine diving save to tip the ball away to safety.
There was a real let off for Spartans midway through the half as Morse switched off and was robbed by former Everton forward Scott Spencer, but as the striker made his way into the area he lashed the ball wide of the far post
Again Spartans upped the pressure and Turnbull forced Stanek into the save of the night as the young keeper flew across his goal to parry the midfielder’s sublime curling effort around the far post.
Finally the frustration was ended in more ways than one on 68 minutes as Spartans extended their lead when Maguire ended his mini goal drought as he raced through on goal and nonchalantly chipped the ball over the advancing Stanek.
With the game won and their opponents beaten, Spartans stroked the ball around Croft Park and will go into Saturday’s trip to Grantham Town full of confidence after two wins, seven goals and six points inside three days.
Blyth Spartans: F Otte, A Cartwright, A Nicholson, D Morse, R Hutchinson, S Turnbull (N Hooks 77), A Wearmouth (M Richardson 75), S Reid (P Robinson 77), D Maguire, M Wade, R Dale. Subs not used: J Watson, D Parker.