Blyth Spartans urged to remain positive after Scarborough Athletic defeat

Blyth Spartans manager Jon Shaw and assistant manager Lewis Dickman (photo Paul Scott)Blyth Spartans manager Jon Shaw and assistant manager Lewis Dickman (photo Paul Scott)
Blyth Spartans manager Jon Shaw and assistant manager Lewis Dickman (photo Paul Scott) | Paul Scott
Blyth Spartans fell to a narrow home defeat against National League North rivals Scarborough Athletic on Tuesday night.

Assistant manager Lewis Dickman insisted Blyth Spartans should remain positive in the wake of Tuesday night’s narrow home defeat against Scarborough Athletic.

With heavy winds and torrential rain battering Croft Park for the vast majority of a tight affair, it was on-loan Gateshead striker Aidan Rutledge that secured the points for the Seadogs as he took full advantage of some sloppy defending from their hosts.

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Blyth Spartans manager Jon Shaw and assistant manager Lewis Dickman (photo Paul Scott)Blyth Spartans manager Jon Shaw and assistant manager Lewis Dickman (photo Paul Scott)
Blyth Spartans manager Jon Shaw and assistant manager Lewis Dickman (photo Paul Scott) | Paul Scott

Spartans had their chances to secure a point and continue their unbeaten run under Jon Shaw after enjoying lengthy spells of possession during the second-half. The best opportunity fell to on-loan Sunderland youngster Harry Gardiner as he diverted a cross narrowly wide just seconds after Rutledge has wasted a golden chance to double his tally by sending a shot wide of the far post.

An equaliser evaded Shaw’s side despite their best efforts on a challenging night on their home patch - but Dickman has been heartened by the reaction of the Spartans players in the aftermath of the game

He told The Gazette: “The gaffer has been very, very positive in the dressing and rightly so.

“We can’t complain, we had nearly 70 percent possession, we’ve done really well with the ball, the identity is there and you can see that. The spirit without the ball, the players have worked really hard, they’ve left everything out there, if there’s a bit of luck it’s a different game. All credit to the players, they’ve controlled parts of the game in difficult conditions and although it’s disappointing to lose the game, the way we approached and reacted to the game has been positive.”

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The result means Spartans five points and five places shy of the National League North play-off places - but they will have a chance to return to winning ways when Warrington Town travel to Croft Park on Saturday afternoon.

Looking ahead to the third meeting of the two sides this season, Dickman is keen to build on the good feeling in the squad as he assessed his first impressions of life as Shaw’s number two following his appointment last week.

He said: “Being in and around it, knowing Jon as I do, and the platform Graham and him put in place at the start of the season, it’s being maintained and carried on. The gaffer is positive, he wants it all to be positive and he has those expectations and standards. He gives the players freedom. Yes, they’ve come off the pitch gutted to have lost the game but they are already looking forward to Thursday’s training session. We will reflect on the game and plan for Warrington. That game can’t come quick enough.”

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