Spartans lose opening league game

Blyth Spartans 1Gloucester City 2Blyth Spartans slipped to a narrow defeat to Gloucester City on the opening day of the new National League North campaign.

Thursday, 1st August 2019, 3:49 pm
Updated Monday, 5th August 2019, 3:42 pm

The visitors were gifted the lead just before the break when loanee Christopher Mason hacked down Joe Parker inside the area, allowing Joe Hanks to convert the spot-kick.

With Blyth ending the strongest, Gloucester provided the sucker punch in the 79th minute when Marlon Jackson headed in from Hanks’ corner.

Damen Mullen’s goal moments later proved nothing more than a consolation as the game ended on a controversial referring decision as Robbie Dale went down under the challenge of Sam Avery.

After the game manager Lee Clarke admitted it was a disappointing way to start the season but he said they had to try and take the positives from the defeat.

“Obviously this is not the way we wanted to open our season.” he said. “It would have been nice to open up with a win, and we might at least have got a draw had we had a little bit more luck, but we have a lot of new players in the squad and they are still learning to play alongside each other. From that point of view it’s work in progress, but it’s a long, hard season, and this is just a the first game.”

Meanwhile, Anthony Callaghan made his debut for Spartans on Saturday at left back and this saw him join an elite group of father and son playing for the green and whites.

He emulted his father David, also a defender, who played for the club 35 years earlier, in the 1984-85 season..​​​