BLYTH SPARTANS VS ASHTON UNITED
VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH
DATE: SATURDAY 8TH DECEMBER 2018
VENUE: Croft Park, Plessey Road, Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 3JE
Ashton come into this game not only in the relegation zone but also on the back of three consecutive defeats in all competitions. The Robin’s last win came at home to Guiseley in which a second half strike from defender Matt Regan sealed all three points for the home side. Since then Ashton’s form is as follows; a 3-2 defeat away to Bradford Park Avenue, a humbling 5-0 home defeat to Boston United and a 2-0 home defeat to Alfreton Town.
Blyth, on the other hand, come into this game in an excellent run of form with only one defeat in their last eight games in all competitions and winning their last four games in a row. These four wins came against; Curzon Ashton, Stockport County, Marske United and Nuneaton Borough. The first three of those fixtures where all play at Croft Park so Blyth will definitely be overwhelming favourites for this weekend’s fixture.
Ahead of this fixture, manager Jody Banim had the following to say “It’s important for us not to be cut adrift in the bottom three, we need to start getting some points on the board starting with Blyth on Saturday.”
ONE TO WATCH:
Dan Maguire is our one to watch for this weekend and with good reason, the 25 year old striker already has 9 league goals to his name this season and that figure is only likely to rise as the season goes on. Before signing for Blyth in 2012, Maguire spent time at Seaton Delaval. He got off to a mediocre start scoring 7 goals in 26 games but since then he has kicked on scoring 27 goals in the 13/14 season and in the 14/15 season he scored 31 goals in 26 games, attracting the attention of AFC Halifax Town. But his move to Halifx didn’t last long as he was soon back at Blyth and was involved in there NPL league winning season in which he scored 37 goals in all competitions and seemed to handle the move up to the National League North quite well scoring 17 goals in all competitions and as previously mentioned has 9 league goals so far in his second National League North campaign.
LAST TIME OUT
The last time the two teams played, Blyth had just been crowned champions and came to celebrate their league win at Hurst Cross with hundreds of Blyth fans dressed in party gear descending onto Ashton. But we’re going to focus on the last time the Robins visited Croft Park. The game finished 3-3 and was a thoroughly entertaining encounter. It took just six minutes for the home side to take the lead through Stephen Turnbull who got onto the end of a Dan Maguire free kick but it went narrowly wide, minutes later Gary Gee got onto the end of a peach of a pass from Jack Dorney to slot the ball past Jeffries in the Spartans goal to put the Robins ahead. Just before the half hour mark the home side was on level terms as Dan Maguire slotted home the equaliser. On the 40 minute mark, Jack Dorney put Ashton back in front with a cool left footed finish. Not two minutes later Tunji Moses gave away a penalty which Stephen Turnbull step up to take and calmly slotted past Paul Phillips. It was half an hour before the next goal and this time, on the 70th minute, it was the hosts who took the lead through Shaun Reid. On the 82nd minute Ashton went on the attack searching for an equaliser and saw Lee Gaskell charge down an attempted clearance by the Spartans defence and followed up with a finish to ensure the Robins came back to Tameside. It could have been all three though as Dorney had a penalty shout turned down and Lee Gaskell was inches away from the end of a Dorney cross.
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE ACTION?
Match updates will be available through the usual social media channels; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Alternatively you can make the visit to Croft Park with match prices as follows;
Adults | £12
Updated 11:29 - 7 Dec 2018 by George Clayton
65’s and over | £7
11-16 years and students with valid ID | £5
Up to 10 years (accompanied by adult) | Free
If you wish to gain entry at the concessionary rate please be prepared to supply the appropriate proof of ID.