Ten-man Spartans stage late fight-back
Blyth Spartans 3-3 Kidderminster Harriers
Blyth Spartans overcame an 88th minute 3-1 deficit – and the sending off of their goalkeeper Peter Jameson – to secure a point against Kidderminster Harriers.
Nathan Buddle’s 92nd minute strike levelled a frantic game of football four minutes after Dan Maguire had given Blyth a lifeline.
Jameson’s 20th minute red card – and subsequent converted penalty by Joe Ironside – turned the tide after Fraser Horsfall had levelled Maguire’s opener.
Ed Williams 71st minute goal had seemed to put the game to bed before a frenetic final 15 minutes ensued to earn Spartans a point.
Alun Armstrong’s side started quickly and took the lead after just 45 seconds. Kieran Green’s strike from the edge of the area deflected off Maguire on the penalty spot – wrong-footing Brandon Hall on what was to be a memorable afternoon at Croft Park.
The visitors replied within five minutes, Nick Clayton-Phillips delightful left-footed cross headed elegantly home by Harriers captain Horsfall.
Referee Paul Brown became to centre of attention in the 20th minute when he awarded a penalty and sent off Spartans’ goalkeeper Jameson
Jameson and Buddle both misjudged a through ball, allowing Ironside into the area before he was brought to the ground.
Brown took his time before showing the red card, the official deciding that the Blyth stopper had not made a genuine attempt to play the ball and it was a goalscoring opportunity – although Buddle was in position to cover.
This meant Spartans’ legend Robert Dale took his place between the sticks, but Ironside sent the Blyth forward the wrong way to give Harriers the lead.
With efforts going close at both ends,Williams added a third 19 minutes from time.
Spartans pulled a goal back in the 88thminute. Alex Nicholson found himself in goalscoring position but selflessly backheeled the ball into the path of Maguire who took a touch before dispatching the ball into the top corner.
A dramatic late comeback was completed two minutes into injury time when the ball fell to the unlikely source of Buddle who calmly slid the ball home to send the 705 strong Green Army wild.
Spartans had shown their fight and passion to pick up a vital point.