Bertram at the double for Rovers
Spittal Rovers 4-2 Ryton & Crawcrook A
Two exquisite finishes from skipper Stuart Bertram helped Spittal eradicate their recent poor run of form against a spirited Ryton side at the Swan Centre on Saturday.
The opening exchanges were tight with both sides creating openings for themselves, but it was Rovers who fashioned the more clear cut chances, Luke Strangeways going close just minutes in.
The deadlock was broken when John Dougall’s lobbed pass set Bertram away, he then cut inside to wrong-foot his marker before squeezing in a neat finish just inside the post.
A zipped ball from Richard Baxendale into the feet of Strangeways then aided the goal tally for the home side, the recipient turning to then register an early contender for goal of the season - a floated effort dispatched into the top corner from twenty five yards.
The impressive Ewan Sherry then headed wide from a corner kick before man of the match Paul Wood also went close in similar circumstances.
At the other end, the visitors had joy down their left, a pacy winger the outlet. They shot wide of Stevie Mason’s post and then a last gasp Sherry challenge denied the striker as he went to get his shot off.
Craig Henderson then used his experience to repel another opportunity, ushering the ball out of play when it looked like the Geordies were in.
With half-time approaching, Andrew Patterson’s hard work down the right was rewarded. A determined run to the byline saw Jamie Logie’s shot blocked, but the rebound fell kindly to Bertram who thrashed home an unstoppable drive from the edge of the area.
The Seasiders came out in the second half in a lethargic manner, but increased their lead from the spot when Logie dusted himself down to send the keeper the wrong way. His third goal in two games. He had previously gone close after latching onto a long, diagonal ball from left back, but was denied by some last ditch defending.
The clean sheet that stand in manager Michael Cornish had craved disappeared midway through the half with poor decision making on a throw in allowing the Ryton midfielder to cut inside before somehow curling his shot past Mason.
A second followed ten minutes later via a freekick which the keeper could do nothing about. The lacklustre approach continued with Mason pulling off a good save to turn one wide and Lewis McKenna hooking another clear from the goal line.
Wood almost netted late on when he curled a left footed effort just past the upright and Logie powered his way through only for Ryton to get a foot in. It meant Rovers saw the game to secure a vital three points which moves them up into 11th position in the table with a game in hand.