Spartans regain their form to beat Mickleover

Sean Reid celebrates scoring for Blyth Spartans against Mickleover Sports. Picture by Bill Broadley
Sean Reid celebrates scoring for Blyth Spartans against Mickleover Sports. Picture by Bill Broadley

Blyth Spartans returned to Croft Park and returned to form as they handed out a footballing lesson to Mickleover Sports.

Sean Reid, Robbie Dale and Paul Robinson were the scorers as Tom Wade’s side put defeats at Spennymoor Town and Stourbridge behind them in the best possible manner.

There was a home debut for German goalkeeper Fabian Otte and Alex Nicholson returned to the starting line-up at left back, while Reid was preferred in midfield, ahead of Michael Richardson.

And within seven minutes that selection had paid dividends.

Some typically tenacious play from Dan Maguire on the edge of the Sports area allowed him to release Reid, who fired his first Spartans goal by striking across goal and leaving Ross Atkins with no chance.

Four minutes later Arran Wearmouth combined well with Andrew Cartwright to allow the full back to cross into the area. That found Dale and after the winger steadied himself he volleyed at goal but Atkins managed to tip the effort around the post.

Shell-shocked by their hosts’ impressive opening barrage, it took Sports some time to get into the game.

A tame headed effort from veteran striker Gary Ricketts and a wild strike from Andy Dale that comfortably cleared the crossbar was the sum total of their riposte.

Spartans, though, were effervescent and there was vibrancy in their play and that was neatly shown in, what would have been, one of the goals of the season, had it not been for the width of a post.

Dale, at his imperious best, made light of being put under pressure inside his own half but calmly curled the ball across the field to Dillon Morse before rampaging up the wing.

Morse took a touch and struck a beautiful cross-field return pass to Dale, which the winger chose to nonchalantly flick inside to the rampaging Nicholson and the full back curled an effort from all of the 30 yards that had Atkins beaten only to hit the woodwork.

For all of their possession, Spartans’ lead remained at one going into the interval, but that was soon to change.

Dale was again at the heart of things early in the second half as his flick released Reid into the right hand side of the visitors area but the former West Allotment Celtic man saw his low angled drive well saved at the near post.

Eleven minutes into the second half the lead was finally and deservedly doubled with a spectacular goal.

Spartans were patient in their build-up, happy to wait for a chink of light in an increasingly desperate Sports backline.

Reid, found a yard of space on the edge of the area and chose to play the ball back to Dale who was 30 yards from goal. With nobody closing him down the winger chose to smash a right foot effort that flew into the top corner of the net.

Two become three on the hour mark as Reid snatched his second.

Maguire, who put in an afternoon of solid graft without reward, spun inside the area and was unfortunate to see his angled shot hit the far post, but it kindly rebounded to Reid and he slotted home from close range.

Spartans began to toy with their opponents, moving the ball around with style and with time to probe.

A fourth seemed on the cards, but the Green Army had to wait until the final minute of normal time.

Paul Robinson, frustrated with any injury for many weeks, came off the bench and curled a powerful left foot shot past a hapless Atkins and into the top left hand corner to put the seal on a fantastic display from Spartans.

Blyth Spartans: Otte, Cartwright (Watson 60), Nicholson, Morse, Hutchinson, Turnbull, Wearmouth (Richardson 77), Reid, Maguire, Wade(Robinson 75), Dale Subs not used: Hooks, Parker.

Attendance: 445.