Red Hot Maguire Downs Ravens
A Double from Blyth's Daniel Maguire helped the home side to a 3-1 victory over the Ravens on the opening day.
Tommy Brookbanks handed league debuts to Steve Towers and Massiah McDonald. Karl Demidh made his first competitive start since returning to the club, Liam Hurst started on the bench. Alex Dean, Jamie McAteer, Josh Raven missed out through injury.
It took Blyth only six minutes to open the scoring, Sean Bowles did well to save a shot from Sean Reid but Daniel Maguire was on hand to fire in the rebound to put the hosts ahead.
The Ravens were only behind for 4 minutes, Liam Walshe’s shot from the edge was saved by Peter Jeffries but the ball fell to Massiah McDonald who calmly slotted into the far corner for his 1st goal for the club to draw the Ravens level after 10 minutes.
The goal boosted the visitors who recovered from a shaky start and came close again through McDonald as his attempted cross forced Jefferies to claw the ball from under the bar.
Daniel Maguire was proving to be a huge thorn in the Ravens side, after he broke away from 2 Coalville defenders his shot on goal was blocked by Jared Holmes, the ball rolled out for a corner. From the resulting corner Sean Reid escaped his man and was allowed a free header to head in past Bowles to restore Blyth’s lead.
Minutes later Blyth were reduced to 10 men for an off the ball incident, Nathan Buddle appeared to kick out whilst he was on the ground at a Coalville player, referee John Matthews consulted with his linesman and then produced a red card for Buddle.
With 10 minutes’ left in the first half Coalville started to take control of play with the extra man advantage but couldn’t really create anything which would trouble the Spartans goal.
HT: Blyth Spartans 2-1 Coalville.
Coalville looked to pick up in the second half where they left off in the first half. Jared Holmes was first to come close, his shot on goal took a deflection off a Blyth defender and fell narrowly wide of Jeffries goal and away for a corner.
Steve Towers then tried his luck from 25 yards with a powerful strike which forced Jeffries to scamper across his goal and turn the ball around the post for a corner. The Visitors best chance of the 2nd half came through McDonald, Will Dennis advanced down the right hand side and delivered a pin point cross to Massiah McDonald who headed over from close range.
After the early chances for the visitors in the second half the game started to even out again and Blyth were a constant threat coming forward with Maguire at the heart of everything good for the home side.
With the Ravens trailing 2-1 Tommy Brookbanks tried to change things with a double substitution, Liam Hurst and Brad Munn were introduced into the action in place of Will Dennis & Karl Demidh. Alex Troke was the third substitution and final substitution moments later in place of Liam Walshe.
Blyth however killed the game 5 minutes later and it was that man Maguire with his 2nd goal of the game. Maguire turned away from Danny Jenno and raced into the penalty area before firing a shot past Bowles into the roof of the net to put the final result beyond doubt.
The third goal seemed to kill all momentum for the Ravens and Blyth were now in full control of the game, Robbie Dale’s free kick looked destined for the top corner but Sean Bowles did superbly to make the ground across his goal and hold the ball well to keep the score at 3-1.
That proved to be the final chance of the game and Blyth ran out deserved 3-1 winners.
Next up for the Ravens is a home fixture on Tuesday Night when Sutton Coldfield are the visitors to Owen Street.
FT: Blyth Spartans 3-1 Coalville.