Leamington 1-2 Blyth Spartans
Two goals in the opening seven minutes secured a vital three points for Blyth Spartans on a day where the opposition were awarded two penalties
Kieran Green’s second minute strike was doubled five minutes later by Dan Maguire as Spartans took an early two goal lead.
But the hosts were awarded penalties either side of the interval, the first saved by Peter Jameson in first half injury time before Colby Bishop netted the second ten minutes into the second half.
Spartans came into the game on a run of five without a win, but there was no lack of confidence in the opening 10 minutes from Alun Armstrong’s men.
Green picked the ball in midfield – inside the first two minutes – and ran towards goal before lashing the ball home from the edge of the area to give Spartans the lead.
There was almost an instantaneous reply from the hosts, but Jameson made a stunning save from Jordan Murphy.
In the seventh minute Spartans doubled their advantage. Alex Nicholson provided the assist as he picked out Maguire in the penalty area, who turned on a sixpence and got his shot away.
Murphy was proving to be the catalyst of any Leamington attack and he went close again on 16 minutes, his long-range effort waved over the bar by Jameson.
Towards the end of the first half Leamington began to dominate proceedings and Jameson palmed away an effort by Murphy.
But as the game entered first half injury time, Jameson misjudged a challenge on Ahmed Obeng with the referee awarding a penalty.although the ‘keeper guessed the right way to deny Bishop.
Just before the hour the hosts were awarded their second penalty, Laing adjudged to have fouled Obeng. Bishop adjusted his strategy and slotted the ball into the opposite corner from his first attempt.
Despite mounting pressure, and claims for another two penalties by the hosts, Jameson’s goal was rarely troubled in the remaining 20 until the 86th minute.
A cross into the box was diverted goalward by James Mace, Nicholson duly placed on the line to clear away the danger. A huge three points for Alun Armstrong’s side who host Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday at Croft Park.