Eastwood Town 4 Blyth Spartans 2 (Match report)

Attendance 575
Eastwood Town
Ian Deakin, Martin Foster, Ryan Clarke, Emeka Nwadike, Mark Hume, Paul Robinson, David Brown (sub Paul Chambers 76 mins), Anton Foster, Ian Holmes (sub Peter Knos 85 mins), Danny Holland, Lindon Meikle.
Subs Not Used - Marc Smith, Ryan Whitehurst, Dion Chambers

Blyth Spartans
Mark Bell (sub Jack Norton 40 mins), Stephen Harrison, John Brackstone, Michael Tait, Gareth Williams, Darren Craddock, Chris McCabe (sub Josh Gillies 85 mins), Stephen Turnbull, Paul Brayson, Mark Doninger (sub John Alexander 53 mins), Robert Dale.
Subs Not Used - Ian Graham, Kenny Boyle.

Spartans got off to a great start, scoring after only 4 minutes. Stephen Turnbull finding Paul Brayson who held off defender Mark Hume before chipping the ball over Ian Deakin in the Eastwood goal.

Eastwood equalised on 10 minutes. Direct play found Ryan Clarke hoof the ball up field and with the slope of the pitch to his advantage Danny Holland out striped Gareth William’s for once for pace before pulling the ball back to Ian Holmes to slot home from just inside the penalty area.

Only second later a soft penalty given away after John Brackstone handled in his own area saw Holland score from the spot kick.

Spartans paid the penalty of standing off Eastwood players to allow them to increase their lead on 31 minutes. Martin Foster was allied to drag his centre back to Lindon Miekle to fire home through a crowed penalty area to put the home side 3-1 up.

Holland’s speculative effort on 40 minutes saw Mark Bell injured and Jack Norton deputise in nets.

The second half saw Spartans regroup, and how they didn’t get 1 if not all 3 points will be a mystery to their travelling fans and Spartans management. This half kicking down the slope they created 5 good chances to score. Turnbull linking up with Brayson eventually saw sub John Alexander blast over with only the keeper to beat.

Then a Turnbull corner was headed just past the upright from Chris MCabe.

On 70 minutes, another corner by Turnbull was played short to Stephen Harrison in dinked in a cross to the far post and again with only the keeper to beat Michael Tait pulled his effort wide.

Spartans eventually pulled a goal back on 73 minutes. A neat one two between Turnbull and Brayson found to ball at the feet of the unmarked Alexander (not Kenny Boyle as shown on the results pages!! – Eastwood had totally mixed the Spartans subs numbers up on the team sheet) - who this time crashed the ball home.

With Spartans pressing for a late equaliser the home broke on the counter and Peter Knox just beat Norton to a through ball to slot home deep into injury time.