Heavy defeat, but reasons for optimism at Rothbury

ROTHBURY 2BLYTH SPARTANS RES 5Despite what the statistics books will record as a heavy home defeat, the hardy fans who braved the cold and brief flurries of snow at Armstrong Park had a few reasons to remain optimistic.

Monday, 2nd March 2020, 9:49 am
Updated Monday, 2nd March 2020, 9:49 am

Kyle Smith made an albeit ring-rusty long awaited return from the treatment table to take the captain’s armband, the development of the young players in the side continued, and some of the football played by the Reds was first class.

Boss Dan Herron felt that his team gave another good account of themselves and that luck just wasn’t on their side as they went down to a fifth straight League loss.

“If you took the passing play in the game I think we played the better actual football, but we say this week in and week out, and need results,” he said.

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Despite a promising start, Rothbury were dealt a blow as Summerly showed his pedigree when he slalomed three challenges before firing in a deflected shot in the eighth minute.

After two near misses Rothbury drew level in the 32nd minute as Coe got himself beyond his marker into the box and squared intelligently for in-rushing strike partner McCann to tuck away from close range.

The joy lasted around a minute. Spartans were awarded a free kick some distance from goal which was rattled against the crossbar and after the first rebound was blocked, Louis Hodgson tapped into the empty net.

Rothbury went further behind just three minutes before the interval as a long ball over the top was too high for the injured Hammond to leap for and the unmarked Richie Clark took one touch to take it down and a second to dispatch it smartly low into the bottom corner.

Rothbury again started brighting in the second half, but after 58 minutes they fell 1-4 behind when Liam Shanley fired in from 25 yards.

Ten minutes later Greg Woodburn pulled a goal back for the home side, but eight minutes from the end Callaghan drove into the box. His initial shot was blocked, but he volleyed the rebound into the roof of the net for 2-5.

The defeat leaves Rothbury 12th in the Division 1 table on 18 points from their 17 games played. This Saturday (March 7) they travel to take on Whitley Bay Sporting Club, who are two places and three points above them.