Spartans see off Hartlepool in pre-season victory
Blyth Spartans saw off League 2 side Hartlepool United when they won a pre-season challenge 2-1 at Croft Park on Tuesday.
Jordan Hickey opened the scoring when he netted his second of pre-season after nine minutes before JJ O’Donnell doubled Spartans’ lead, 15 minutes before the end.
Nicky Featherstone quickly pulled one back for the visitors but Michael Nelson’s men held out for a morale-boosting win against higher league opposition.
It was Blyth’s third win of pre-season following previous wins against Middlesbrough U23s and North Shields.
After the match a delighted Nelson said: “That’s three full-time outfits we’ve faced now and gave a good account of ourselves, but this is definitely the most pleasing performance, not just with the ball but without it.
"I was very pleased with the efforts of the players, particularly in the way we defended, and the quality of the goals was good.
“The players are in a good place, they are taking things on board from training. This was a morale-boosting win, but we are by no means fully ready. We have a couple of players with niggling injuries so we still have some work to do before the season starts.
"It was also good to see the fans out in numbers tonight because the lads really appreciate it.”
Defender Toby Lees added: “Even in pre-season, performance matters. At the end of the day it’s a game of football and you want to win games.
"After Saturday’s defeat (to South Shields in the CEFO CFS Challenge Trophy) it’s good to bounce back with a win.”
Spartans lost out on the CEFO CFS Challenge Trophy with a 2-1 defeat against South Shields in front of 993 supporters at Croft Park on Saturday.
The Mariners deservedly led 1-0 at the break after Darius Osei opened the scoring with a header. Osei then added a second on 48 minutes, with his goal counting despite a suspicion of handball in the build-up.
Next up for Spartans is an away match against Hebburn Town on Saturday (July 31) before they take on Newcastle United U23s at Croft Park on Tuesday (August 3), kick-off at 7.30pm.