In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Marine 5-1 Blyth Spartans
Saturday 8th December
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Blyth travelled to Merseyside without the suspended Ryan McGorrigan and Shaun Vipond and the injured/unavailable trio of Damon Mullen, Neal Hooks and Sam Hodgson. It was also announced prior to kick off that Central Defender Jordan Mellish had left the club to join South Shields.
This saw a return to the Starting XI for on-loan Newcastle United winger Marcus Maddison and a first starting place for Jack Stanger. The Spartans were dealt a further blow when Tom Berj, originally named in the starting line-up, pulled up in the warm up and had to be replaced by Dan Maguire.
The first action of the game came in the third minute; a clever fleet of foot run by Maddison saw the winger cross to Maguire, whose first time effort clipped the top of the crossbar.
On 5 minutes Marine took the lead, a cross from the right caused panic in the Spartans defence and allowed Liam Dawson to head home past Conor Grant, despite the protests of the Spartans defenders that Dawson was in an offside position.
Marine increased their lead on 14 minutes, Dawson cut inside from the left wing and hit a shot which skidded in front Grant and the keeper could only parry the ball into the path of Karl Noon who prodded the ball home.
On 21 minutes a near carbon copy of the second goal saw Marine extend their lead even further, again the ball skipped up off the greasy surface and Grant’s parry was converted by Noon.
The remainder of the first half saw both teams exchange half chances, with Utterson, Maguire and Airey guilty of some wayward shooting, with Burton, Noon and Rogan going close for the hosts.
Blyth started the second half on the front foot, with Marine happy to sit on their 3 goal lead and absorb any pressure from the Spartans attack, Maguire was again unlucky as he got in front of his marker at the near post to direct a dangerous looking Maddison cross just wide of the post.
Marine’s fourth goal arrived in fortuitous fashion, Spartans’ right back Shaun Utterson attended to launch a clearance from a Marine attack only to see the ball ricochet off Dawson and loop over the head of Grant and into the top corner of the net from 30 yards.
The Spartans continued to press for a goal and fashioned good several good chances through Maguire and Maddison, but they were unable to get the ball past Callum Williams in the Marine goal. Even when they did get past the Marine stopper they still failed to convert their chances as a Rob Dale shot was blocked on the goal line by his own player, with Lee Mason deflecting the ball wide whilst trying to get out of the way of the goal-bound shot.
Spartans day was pretty much summed up on 80 minutes, faced with a relatively straight forward clearance to touch, Joe Kendrick slipped and fell over and this allowed Nick Rogan to steal in and dink the ball over Grant to score Marine’s fifth goal.
Blyth did manage to get some reward for their spirited, if naïve, performance when Maddison latched onto a pass from Rob Dale and the youngster smashed the ball home in injury time to make the final score 5-1 to Marine.
Whilst the result was conclusive and Marine were certainly worthy winners, the management duo of Paddy Atkinson and Tom Wade will at least have taken some comfort from the fact that a scratch Spartans side continued to work hard and never let their heads drop. As Blyth head into the traditionally busy festive period, they will hope that their injured players return to bolster the squad and that they can make some inroads in the transfer market to bring some much need experience to the side.
Spartans Man of the Match: Marcus Maddison
Marine:Williams, Dowling, Shaw (Ordish), Brown, Ojapha, Burton, Noon, Rice, Devine (Pearson), Rogan (Brown), Dawson Subs not used: Lawton, Jones Goalscorers Dawson 3 & 56, Noon 14 & 21, Rogan 80
Blyth Spartans: Grant, Utterson, Slaughter, Maguire, Buchanan, Kendrick, Mason, Stanger, Airey (Canham), Maddison, Dale Subs not used: Donnelly, Berj, Turnbull Scorer: Maddison 90
Referee: Mr Russell