Blyth Spartans claim a point on the road with goalless draw at Darlington
Darlington have won one league game all season, their last game seeing them lose 2-1 to King’s Lynn. Spartans were hoping to give some injured players game time, and new loan signing Mikael Ndjoli was available after signing from Hartlepool United on a short-term deal.
In the end, of the injured trio of Billy Gordon, Lewis Knight and Michael Liddle, who all took part in the pre-game warm-up on Saturday, only Gordon was named as a substitute, with Ndjoli straight into the action and Cedric Main, JJ Hooper and Jon Shaw, who went off injured on Saturday, all missing.
The game started with a minute’s silence for Sir Bobby Charlton, who played at Croft Park in 1974 in an FA Cup replay when he was player/manager of Preston North End.
The hosts had the first real chance of the game after 18 minutes when Jim Simms saw his header go just wide. Spartans kept probing for an opening and came close when a cross by Rhys Evans was cleared before Nicky Deverdics could make contact. A longe-range effort by Ndjoli was deflected before the action swung to the other end, Evans and Harrison Clark combining to block a shot.
Will McGowan had a couple of chances before a shot by Jordan Hickey was deflected for a corner. As the half drew to a close, Evans saw his shot deflected over.
The Quakers had the better of the opening exchanges in the second half, Alex Mitchell making a great save after 53 minutes to keep the score goalless before Ndjoli almost got his first goal for the club, just failing to get a touch on a cross by Evans.
Both teams went in search of the goal that would see them collect all three points, but couldn’t find the killer touch.
In the end, the Quakers will have been happy with a morale-boosting draw while Spartans gained a point on the road after a long game on Saturday.
Spartans are back on the road tomorrow when they travel to King’s Lynn.