It’s not been the best of weeks for Blyth Spartans with two comprehensive defeats in the space of four days.
On Saturday they went down 3-0 away to Darlington in the league, and that after they suffered a hefty 8-2 reverse at the hands of local rivals Morpeth Town in the Northumberland Cup semi-finals last Wednesday.
Darlington deservedly took all three points from their weekend clash.
Stephen Thompson fired home from the penalty spot to give the homer side the lead on the stroke of half time after Ryan Hutchinson had brought down Reece Styche.
Thompson then doubled the advantage on the hour mark when he slid home before David Syers completed the scoring with a powerful header.
The defeat was hard to swallow, coming as it did on the back of the big Senior Cup defeat at the hands of Morpeth, albeit Spartans fielded an weakened side.
Morpeth romped through with an astonishing 8-2 victory at Craik Park. Starting like a freight train, they steamed into a 4-1 lead before the half hour mark thanks to goals from Sean Taylor, Keith Graydon, Mark Davison and Ben Sayer.
A shell-shocked Blyth could only muster a Dylan McGlade strike in response.
The second half got even better for the home siude as Sayer completed his hat-trick, with Joe Walton getting a goal for himself and Davison bagging a second. Euan Anderson belatedly reduced the deficit as Blyth wilted under intense pressure from their near neighbours.
After the game, Blyth manager Alun Armstrong apologised to the fans for the performance and result at Craik Park.
“My priorities lie elsewhere,” said Armstrong. “We have a big game at the weekend against Darlington and in all honesty I didn’t want some of the players to play because the pitch was extremely heavy with some doubt the game would go ahead. I have to protect my key players.
“This competition is a reserve team competition for us - we’ve got to start bringing players through. It was a massive test for ther lads because Morpeth are an extremely good side.”
Next up for Spartans is a home game against promotion chasing Brackley Town on Saturday.