Spartans have to stay disciplined – Parker

Blyth Spartans defender Danny Parker was a satisfied man after his side came away from a tricky away day at Ilkeston with all three points.

Dan Maguire was the match winner with his 11th minute goal ensuring Spartans continued an impressive run that has seen them lose only once in 2014.

However, the win was as much down to a disciplined performance from Parker and his colleagues.

And the former Bishop Auckland man emphasised how important it is that they continue to pick up points away from Croft Park.

He said: “It’s great, it’s been drilled into us about improving our away record.

“We have been doing so well at home, and because of the position we are in we have to capitalise on winning away games.

“If we are to carry on chasing a play-off spot we have to stay disciplined at away grounds, and we have done that today.”

Spartans have now won five away games in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League and six in total this season.

Five of them have come through the same 1-0 scoreline that won the points in Derbyshire, and Parker challenged his team-mates to ensure that more clean sheets are kept if they are to continue their play-off push.

“Before each game we aim for a clean sheet and as a defence as long as we do our jobs it allows the lads up top to do their jobs with their creativity,” he said.

“As a defender you take pride in clean sheets, we have to keep more but we have kept two in a row now away from home.”

Parker admitted that the last ten minutes were “difficult” as the Robins went for a more direct approach.

Lanky striker Gary Ricketts was the focal point for the attack but he was well marshalled by Parker and his centre back partner Nathan Buddle as they saw their side safely through to full-time.

Parker, though, was always confident that Spartans would get the three points after a half-time chat with manager Tom Wade.

“The last ten minutes it was difficult,” he said.

They piled the pressure on but knew as a back four we had a chat at half-time and knew if we kept it tight and hold our shape we would see it through.

“Conor (Grant) has been in great form recently and made another brave stop at the end, but I think we held up well in difficult conditions.”