Spartans comfortably see off Colwyn Bay challenge
Blyth Spartans responded to their midweek defeat to Frickley Athletic by recording a 3-0 win over second bottom Colwyn Bay at Croft Park on Saturday.
Michael Richardson opened the scoring before Wilson Kneeshaw continued his fine run of form in front of goal to double the hosts’ advantage.
Man of the match Robbie Dale sealed the win towards the end of the game to keep Blyth’s lead at the top of the EvoStik Premier League to ten points ahead of second placed Workington, who have a game in hand.
IN the early stages Colwyn actually successfully frustrated their opponents, comfortably dealing with the attacks Tom Wade’s side threw at them.
Arran Wearmouth had a 15-yard fierce strike saved by visiting keeper Craig Ellison after himself and Kneeshaw saw earlier chances go over the bar.
The visitors themselves had a good chance to score when Shaun Dowling crossed from the right with Adam McHugh stretching to put the shot over the bar.
But minutes later, Richardson was on the receiving end of a through ball from the defence and calmly drilled it home under visiting keeper Ellison and into the net.
Blyth’s lead should have been doubled in first half stoppage time as Kneeshaw rounded the stranded Ellison but fired into the side-netting.
The second half was a comfortable affair for Blyth and it became even more so as Kneeshaw benefited from a long pass to slot the ball home.
Kneeshaw and skipper Dale both missed chances to further extend the scoreline, but the points were sealed when Dale scored from close range to seal a perfect day for Spartans in their charge for automatic promotion.
On Saturday Blyth head to the Midlands to take on Sutton Coldfield Town, who won 2-1 at Croft Park back in October.
Sutton are currently in mid-table having lost their last three league games.
Blyth Spartans: A McHugh, A Nicholson (A Cartwright), N Buddle, R Hutchinson, J Watson, N Hooks (S Reid), M Richardson (D Maguire), P Robinson, A Wearmouth, W Kneeshaw, R Dale. Subs not used: D Parker, D Morse.
Against Frickley Athletic in midweek, Spartans lost their first league game at Croft Park this year.
Robbie Dale’s two penalty strikes were enough to galvanise the home side, but the league leaders ran out of steam towards the end and could not find an equaliser.
Brad Grayson twice spotted goalkeeper Adam McHugh off his line and made him pay, and Spartans were eventually rueing some missed opportunities.
Spartans found themselves two down at the interval through two Brad Grayson chips before the first of Dale’s spot kicks pulled them back into the game early in the second half.
But they gifted Frickley a third when McHugh failed to control a Ryan Hutchinson back pass and Jacob Hazel took advantage.
Dale’s second penalty conversion proved to be nothing more than a consolation.