Spartans miss out on place in play-offs

Blyth Spartans AFC.
Blyth Spartans AFC.

Nuneaton 2-2 Blyth Spartans

A spirited Blyth Spartans were unable to beat Nuneaton Town in order to give themselves a chance of sneaking into the play-offs – but it did not matter as both Bradford Park Avenue and Spennymoor Town won.

George Green opened the scoring for the Boro soon after the news filtered through of Bradford and Spenny losing before half-time.

Robbie Dale equalised 10 minutes from time as Spenny turned it around against Southport but Ashley Chambers instantly restored the hosts’ advantage with Spartans pushing for the win.

To Blyth’s credit, they continued to fight until the end for the fantastic travelling supporters and earned only their second draw of the season through Sean Reid’s 88th-minute stunner.

Dan Maguire thought he had given his side the lead after four minutes but his celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.

News filtered through about Southport and Kidderminster’s leads against Spennymoor and Bradford, however, Spartans fell behind themselves in the 24thminute.

Moments before Green had fed in Chambers – forcing a good save from Peter Jameson – Green himself broke the deadlock following a neat finish after being found in-behind the Blyth defence.

Blyth reacted andMaguire lofted the ball over keeper Ross Etheridge and appeared to be bobbling in only for David McTiernan to stick a leg out near the goal line and divert the ball away from the target.

Two minutes later, a debatable offside decision then prevented Maguire once more after he headed home from inside the six-yard box from Andrew Cartwright’s cross.

Blyth were unable to carry the momentum into the second half, and their hopes of reaching the playoffs took a big blow as Spennymoor turned it around against Southport.

Blyth captain Dale dragged his side back into it as his low drive into the area found its way into the bottom right-hand to give Blyth hope of a comeback.

But as they pushed men forward, Chambers sneaked in to regain the hosts’ lead.

Spartans fought until the end and managed to carve out another equaliser courtesy of Reid’s shot from outside the box that sailed into the top corner.