Frustration for Spittal as Todd strikes twice for Blyth
Blyth 2-0 Spittal Rovers
A James Todd double meant it is now back to the drawing board for Rovers, who entered the game looking to build some league momentum, yet left it feeling disappointed after squandering the games best chances.
On a rather saturated afternoon, an unforgiving surface and strong cross field wind made playing any sort of football extremely difficult for both sides. It was suprising no balls were lost as they rolled across level crossings and bounced over garden walls!
Luke Strangeways looked like opening the scoring on ten minutes, but after rounding the Blyth keeper, his shot lacked any venom with the back tracking defender collecting the ball on the goal line. Paul Wood was then inches away from meeting a curling Stuart Bertram free kick before Marco Lambert hit the upright after a good move down the right.
Youngster Kai Strang then sent a ball over into the danger area, but the resulting shot dipped just over a relieved Blyth keeper’s crossbar. The hosts always looked dangerous on the break, quick counter attacks down both flanks did not prove fruitful, however, with Spittal keeper Dean Avery rarely tested. He saved down low midway through the half with the remaining chances sailing wide of the target from distance for the home side.
There was no let up in the rain after the interval with Blyth somehow failing to capitalise six yards out to take the lead, their striker skewing his effort just wide. They then fashioned an opening down the right, but after creating some space, the wide man smashed his shot selfishly into the side netting to the disbelief of his centre forward.
The opener arrived in dubious circumstances midway through the second half. Todd lying offside and apparantly not interfering with play in phase one, before tapping home the cross in phase two.
The visitors continued to press, but were undone again with 15 minutes remaining. A calm finish from Todd gave his side some breathing space.
Avery then saved superbly to deny him his hat-trick with the game now stretched end to end.
With the clock running down, Wood’s free header somehow evaded the boot of Strangeways. Last season’s top scorer Adam Turner was introduced from the bench, and he also went close with a curling effort before Andrew Patterson’s shot was gathered.