Rovers undone as Blyth hit the Seasiders for six at Newfields
Spittal Rovers 2-6 Blyth FC
Spittal saw a 2-0 first half lead disappear as Blyth FC hit them for six without reply after the break at a windy Newfields on Saturday.
The early signs were positive for Spittal with Craig Bell testing Conor Oliver seconds after kick-off - the visiting keeper saving down low to his left to deny the teenage striker.
Moments later, the home side’s persistence paid off - the deadlock broken via Kyle Jeffrey, who duly prodded home Ben Fairbairn’s fizzing cross from the right.
This lead was almost doubled when a similar move saw Chris Phillips head behind to safety. The visitors then went close with a set piece after Spittal full back Leigh Walker had tripped Joe Bolam on the edge of the box, but this was quickly turned around into an attack down the other end of the field and after some excellent play from Jeffrey in the wide area, his accurate cross was rifled past Oliver by the onrushing Rhys Bloomfield to double the Seasiders’ lead.
Bloomfield then went close again during the next passage of play, but failed to find the target after more eye catching play from Jeffrey had exposed Kieran Egen.
The Rovers onslaught did not stop there with Oliver saving fantastically well from Dmitrijs Paplavskis, who had spun to get his shot away from the corner of the penalty area. Bell then intercepted a poor clearance, but a monumental sliding challenge from the impressive Rhys Richardson extinguished the threat.
Jeffrey then powered one wide before an inviting Paplavskis centre somehow evaded the frustrated Bell by inches.
As half-time approached, Blyth themselves looked dangerous with Ash Pendrich called upon to deny Liam Gibson with a quality save from an effort that looked to be creeping in.
The visitors then rattled the woodwork via a corner and had Walker not been sweeping a poor clearance from another set piece then he would have been unable to make the crucial goal line clearance that he booted away on the referee’s whistle.
Knowing the importance of staying organised and compact against an unforgiving wind, Rovers’ game plan went out the window when they conceded a penalty just minutes after the restart - Josh Monaghan stepping up to half the deficit with an intently hit spot kick.
A period of stability followed from the hosts until they were undone by Reece Farrell’s wind assisted free kick from way out, which caught Pendrich off guard, sneaking in just underneath his crossbar.
With the Geordie’s now in the ascendancy, Farrell then made the pressure count with a delightful goal to put his side ahead, spinning his man before sending an arking shot into the top corner, out of the reach of Pendrich.
The only real glimmer of hope Spittal had in finding a leveller soon passed when Bell met substitute Niall Jones’ cross well, but after making a seemingly good connection, Oliver was to make a fantastic save with his feet.
His side then urgently turned defence into attack and before too long, the ball was in the other net and the game wrapped up - Andy Welsh finishing off a sweeping move.
Spittal’s vulnerabilities at the back were exposed further late on despite Blyth being reduced to 10 men. Liam Hornsby adding a fifth after a surge forward before team mate Welsh completed the rout at the death with his second of the encounter.
Rovers’ must now dust themselves down and focus on this weekend’s opponents Coundon & Leeholme, who have won their last three league games.