Disappointment for Blyth Spartans as long trip to Southport ends in defeat

Troy Chiabi scored a penalty against Southport. Picture: Blyth Spartans FCTroy Chiabi scored a penalty against Southport. Picture: Blyth Spartans FC
Troy Chiabi scored a penalty against Southport. Picture: Blyth Spartans FC
Blyth made a 356-mile round trip on Tuesday for their match against Southport, knowing that a point could see them climb out of the drop zone.

Southport sit 17th in the league having lost their last 10 league games, including a 1-0 defeat away at Brackley Town last time out.

Blyth, meanwhile, went into the match unbeaten in six games in all competitions, including holding the league leaders AFC Fylde to a goalless draw on Saturday, and started the match brightly with two early chances, including a long-range effort from captain Nicky Deverdics which went just wide.

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There were more chances for both teams before a Southport shot was deflected onto the bar and out for a corner in the 35th minute.

The game was scoreless at half time, but Southport scored the opening goal a minute into the second half when Spartans failed to deal with a long throw and the ball was knocked in from close range.

Just three minutes later Southport scored a second goal, leaving Blyth with a mountain to climb.

Close to the end of the game, Spartans were awarded a penalty in the 83rd minute, which was converted by substitute Troy Chiabi who had come on for the captain, Deverdics.

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Sadly, it proved to be too little to late and Spartans slipped to defeat at Haig Park, leaving them in 22nd place in the league.

They will be disappointed to have lost, having beaten Southport 1-0 at home in January thanks to a goal from Cedric Main and coming out top in a five-goal thriller at Haig Park last season.

Blyth’s other game this week ended 0-0 against AFC Fylde last Saturday. Spartans were the dominant side in the first half and were unlucky not to be on top against the league leaders.

However, they did record their fourth consecutive clean sheet.

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Speaking after that match, manager Graham Fenton said it was “a match we could have won based on some of the chances we created, and some of the officiating we've seen yet again”.

Spartans play Boston United at home on Saturday, March 11.