AFTER standing in as manager for the night and seeing his side collect all three points on the road for the first time since September, Tom Wade said it was personal pride that was the motivation behind Blyth Spartans’ 3-1 win at Kendal Town.
After suffering Saturday’s home hammering at the hands of AFC Fylde there was plenty of pride to be restored for the players, and they ensured that they went part of the way to making up for that 5-0 defeat at Croft Park with a solid performance in Cumbria.
Wade said: “The players were told before the game that they had to do this for themselves and get a win after Saturday.
“Obviously you want to do it for the supporters, but taking a heavy defeat like that hurts your professional pride.
“The whole team were excellent tonight, and in fact the squad was superb.
“They had a point to prove to themselves and obviously you want to do it for the supporters, but tonight was about gaining some personal pride after Saturday and I think they have done that.
“It was a hard-working performance and we probably could have won by more than that, but it’s all about getting the win.”
Whilst Wade and Paddy Atkinson have spent most of the season trying to get out their strongest side, there is an altogether new problem on the horizon as Spartans prepare to travel to Nantwich Town on Saturday, but Wade said he won’t be complaining.
“We had 16 there tonight and another four who weren’t here tonight to come back, so hopefully we now have a 20-man squad to pick from on Saturday for Nantwich as everyone should be fit.
“It’s competitive for places and that’s a massive positive for us as that’s what we want.
“We are trying to build the confidence and hopefully we can go there and play well and get ourselves further up that league table.”
Spartans called upon yet another different strike duo for the win at the CosySeal Stadium, with Dan Maguire being partnered with Phil Airey after the latter was moved from the full back position he has occupied in recent weeks.
Wade was happy with the duo’s performance but revealed his sympathy for Andy Jennings, who dropped to the bench as a result of Maguire and Airey’s selection.
He said: “They did very well and obviously Phil hasn’t played in that striker role for a number of weeks now, but he did well.
“I had a chat with Andy Jennings before the game and explained the decision to play Phil and Dan, and his attitude was top class.
“We have three good strikers to chose from and it’s a hard decision to make, but that’s a nice decision to make.”
Wade also called upon the services of keeper Conor Grant for the first time in a month and the former Gretna man repaid that selection with a man of the match performance.
Although Wade did reveal that Grant is still carrying a knock and is still some way from full fitness.
“People don’t know Conor has been carrying a knock and is really two or three weeks away from full fitness and really being ready,” he said.
“We asked him to do a job for us tonight because Craig (Pickering) was unable to play due to work commitments and Conor has stepped in and has rightly been voted man of the match, he made some top drawer saves and deserves the accolade.”