English own-goal secures Blyth win

Blyth Spartans

Vanarama National League North

Blyth Spartans 1-0 Leamington

English og 20

Blyth Spartans edged a scrappy game with a 1-0 win at home to Leamington in the National League North today at Croft Park.

Junior English’s 20th minute own goal separated the two sides.

Blyth came into this game off the back of a 4-0 defeat at Bradford Park Avenue, but sitting in 5th place, while 17th place Leamington came into the game in good form having lost just once in their last eight games.

Leamington started the game well, looking a real threat from set pieces.

Their first corner five minutes in caused real problems, as the home side failed to clear their lines and as a result Liam Canavan’s close-range effort was forced round the post by keeper Peter Jameson.

Just seven minutes later another Leamington corner caused problems for the Blyth defence, and the ball fell to Rob Thompson-Brown – whose volley went just wide.

Blyth slowly got into the game though and took the lead when captain Robert Dale’s run ensured a quick throw-in, and his cross was turned into his own net by Leamington defender English.

Dale then came close for the hosts in the 27th minute when a well-driven shot from long-range went just over the bar.

The winger later had a shot blocked by the hands of keeper Tony Breeden ten minutes later after a great run on the left-hand side.

Leamington came close just before half-time when Kaine Felix’s cross was headed over by James Mace.

Chances were few and far between however in the second-half.

The only real chance of the half came in the 72nd when Leamington’s Thompson-Brown made a good run on the left only for his effort to go over the bar.

Visiting keeper Breeden came up for a corner shortly before the end, but it came to nothing and the final whistle came soon after.

Blyth’s win sees them cement their place in the National League North play-offs while Leamington now have two straight defeats and remain in 17th.

Blyth Spartans: Jameson, Atkinson, Buddle, Hutchinson, Liddle, Reid, Mullen, Rivers, Hopson (McTiernan 72), Dale(c), Wrightson (Rutherford 85).

Booked: Liddle

Subs not used: Watson, Cartwright and MacDonald (GK).

Leamington: Breeden, Mace (Taundry 63), English, Hood, Gudger, Felix, Clarke, Gittings, Thompson-Brown, Canavan (Obeng 79), Revan (Bishop 63).

Booked: Taundry, Gittings, Hood and Gudger.

Subs not used: Magunda and Moore.

Attendance: 841