Spartans have day to forget

THE only positive Blyth Spartans FC manager Mick Tait could take from Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at Hinckley was that side only lost three points.

His side’s performance in Leicestershire was a day to forget.

But far from castigating his players, Tait knows better than anyone that football can throw up days like these - the previous week it was Blyth dishing out a hammering at Vauxhall Motors.

Tait said: “The momentum was with us last week because we got the goal before half-time which changed the complexion of the game.

“This week, however, Hinckley scored twice just before the break so they were in a similar sort of position, mentally, as we were at Vauxhall.

“They were in the ascendancy after the break and had the psychological advantage from then on.”

After Alan White’s improvised back flick had given Blyth the lead, Tait was disappointed with the manner in which his side conceded two goals in quick succession at the end of the first half.

“On both occasions we had the ball in and around their penalty area and we’ve been punished for being sloppy in possession and they’ve caught us on the counter,” he said.

Spartans failed to cope with an energetic display from their opponents and this was something that puzzled Tait on the day.

“We are usually the ones who set the tempo and have proved we can compete with anybody this season, but we looked off the pace,” he added.

“I can’t explain why, but we were second best to every ball and they were so much sharper and quicker than us.”

That said Blyth still had chances, with Ian Deakin pulling off some tremendous saves for the hosts.

Tait said: “You need to put the game in to context and say we’ve had some great chances and the keeper has made some excellent saves.

“If the header from Whitey (Alan White) just after the break goes in then that would have made it 2-2 and would have changed the game, but we can’t have any excuses because we didn’t deserve anything and that’s a fact.”

Having held a place in the top half of the league for most of the season and currently sitting in a respectable seventh in the Blue Square Bet North, Blyth are now viewed as big scalp for any side.

This was evident on Saturday, as not only had Hinckley more or less cemented a place in this division for another season with victory, the fact they recorded such an emphatic win against Spartans clearly added to their celebrations.

Tait said: “Every time we lose a game or a team plays well against us then we get that sort of reaction.

“We can only take it as a compliment and the players have got to live with the pressure of being a side everybody wants to beat now.”

On Saturday, Spartans entertain Gloucester City at Croft Park, kick-off 3pm.

n Match report – page 77