Spartans held for their first draw

Blyth Spartans AFC.
Blyth Spartans AFC.

It has taken until the 30th game of the season for Blyth Spartans to pick up their first draw of the 2017/18 season, but the men from Croft Park will be disappointed to come away with just a point in a 1-1 draw with FC United of Manchester.

Sean Reid had given Spartans a second-half lead after latching on to a fantastic diagonal ball from Robert Dale – finishing with aplomb through the legs of Lloyd Allinson.

However, a 70th-minute equaliser from player-manager Tom Greaves stole a point for the travelling Red Rebels – tapping home after Craig Lindfield had cannoned a stunning strike of the crossbar, onto the post and into the path of Greaves.

It was a match of few chances – especially in the first 45 minutes.

Blyth had an early penalty appeal turned aside, and Allinson made a point-blank save from Ryan Hutchinson.

Lindfield should have netted the opener for FC United but he squandered a chance with just Jameson to beat.

On the half-hour mark, Hopson went close for the home side but both sides cancelled each other out in the run up to half-time.

Early in the second half, Reid missed a glorioius chance to put Spartans in front, heading wide, before Jarrett Rivers found space down the right, forcing Allinson into making a save low to his left.

The deadlock was broken when Dale played a diagonal ball towards the penalty area and Reid finished through the legs of Allinson.

A crowd of 985 then saw the return of striker Dan Maguire, but Blyth were hit with an almighty sucker-punch when Damen Mullen was dispossessed and Lindfield broke into the penalty area.

Lindfield hit a thunderous right-footed effort off the crossbar, onto the post and back into the six-yard box where player-manager Greaves guided the ball into the top right-hand corner to the joy of the visiting crowd.

The goal took the wind out of Spartans’ sails as a cagey 10 minutes ensued. With 10minutes remaining, Spartans lifted their play again, Nathan Buddle heading a Rivers corner straight at Allinson.

Rivers then went close near the end, but there were no further goals and Spartans had to settle for a solitary point with a draw.