Spartans lay foundations for better second half of the season

BLYTH Spartans assistant manager Tom Wade felt Saturday’s 2-1 win over Matlock Town was built on strong foundations provided by the defence and can provide the platform for a much improved second half to the season.

Following the victory, he said: “Today was massive, we have had a bad run and we have come out of that a better side and a more compact side, which is built on a strong team spirit and defending as a unit.

“The win was all about the players’ attitude, their character and the foundations are now in place for us to kick on and further improve throughout the second half of this season.”

Since taking up the role as Paddy Atkinson’s assistant in September, Wade and the Spartans manager have worked hard on making their side more solid.

Wade now believes their hard work is starting to show where it matters and that results will come.

He added: “It wasn’t the best game of football in the world, but we won it with a performance built on a foundation of a solid defence, that’s not just the back four though, it’s the team defending as a unit.

“Buchanan knows he can just go and attack the ball and that Richie Slaughter will mop up in behind him with his pace.

“I have to say Richie has been outstanding since he came back to the club.”

However, Wade was keen to point out that while the back four deserve praise for their part in the win, there were two other Spartans players who displayed an outstanding work ethic to seal the three points.

“The whole side worked hard and I must say that was Robbie Dale’s best performance since I have been here,” he said.

“He worked hard, he was solid, he supported Shaun Utterson and looked like beating their man every time he ran at him.

“On the other wing, Damen Mullen was excellent, he never gave an inch whether he was at left back or on the wing and probably could have got himself a couple of goals.

“It’s not always easy playing on the wing but those two today were exceptional.

“We now need to build on this and carry on today’s good work.”