Graham Fenton speaks of his frustration as Blyth Spartans 'capitulate' against Southport

Mikael Ndjoli scored his first goal for Blyth Spartans in the 3-3 draw with Southport. Picture: Paul ScottMikael Ndjoli scored his first goal for Blyth Spartans in the 3-3 draw with Southport. Picture: Paul Scott
Mikael Ndjoli scored his first goal for Blyth Spartans in the 3-3 draw with Southport. Picture: Paul Scott
Blyth Spartans threw away a 3-1 half-time lead to draw with Southport at Croft Park on Tuesday night, much to manager Graham Fenton’s obvious frustration.

Spartans took the lead through a Lewis Knight penalty after 18 minutes, with Jack Bainbridge equalising two minutes later.

Jordan Hickey got Spartans’ second in the 34th minute with a strike from outside the box, before Mikael Ndjoli scored his first for the club four minutes later to give the home team what looked like a comfortable lead.

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Brad Holmes made it 3-2 five minutes after the restart before Niall Watson grabbed an 82nd equaliser, following up after Alex Mitchell’s penalty save from Josh Hmami. Spartans also missed a penalty when substitute JJ Hooper, who was returning to the side after injury, put his kick just wide. Fenton took responsibility for the miss as captain Nicky Deverdics is the team’s usual penalty taker, saying his team is “too nice”.

Manager Graham Fenton spoke of his “pure frustration” at his team’s ability to play well for 45 minutes and then “capitulate”.

He added: “We just contribute to our own downfall far too often. The goals that we’ve conceded today are absolutely disgustingly bad, all three of them. how are you meant to win games of football when you defend like that.

“Apologies to the fans for that second-half performance because we just defended so naively and it’s nowhere near good enough.”

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He added that although it was a fairly young squad they will have to “grow up sometime and get tougher, and just basically understand what level of football they’re playing at”.

The National League North is still very close and a win would have moved Spartans up to sixth place, as it is they are four points off the relegation zone after 16 games. Fenton added: “We need to get a run of games together and get into that play-off zone, which is where we want to be.”

Spartans are on the road tomorrow when they go to Brackley Town, who sit one point above them in the table and lost 1-0 away at Hereford on Tuesday night.