Injury time loss for Blyth at Darlington

Darlington 1Blyth Spartans 0A controversial Jake Lawlor goal in stoppage time denied Blyth a point at Darlington on Saturday.
Blyth Spartans.Blyth Spartans.
Blyth Spartans.

The game was restarted twice due to a Spartans fan collapsing, leading to 20 minutes of added time.

It wasn’t a game for the neutral, with only one chance of note in the first half, as Joe Wheatley hit the post for the Quakers in the 44th minute.

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Darlington took the lead in the latter stages of the second half, as Alex Mitchell parried Will Hatfield’s effort into the path of a rabble of players.

The ball came back off the crossbar into the path of Lawlor, who appeared to be in an offside position, but he found the back of the net with no flag raised.

The Spartans’ best chance of the game came in injury time when JJ O’Donnell’s strike looked destined to capture a point, but drifted wide.

The defeat made it eight losses in nine for Spartans, leaving the Croft Park side 19th in the National League North table on 27 points, six ahead of bottom club Farsley.

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After the game manager Alex Mitchell said: “In general, our all round play without the ball was quite pleasing and we defended reasonably well. If we defend like that in most games we will always be there or there abouts.

"Naturally we will have to look at the goal to see what we could have done better.

"But with the ball we didn’t cause loads of problems for Darlington and that is something we have to work on.

"Overall I think we did enough to deserve a point, so to leave empty handed is a disappointment.

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"Also, it’s always disappointing to lose a game so late in the day, not just for the players and myself, but for the fans as well, as I think they all thought we were going to take a point.”

The game was halted for 20 minutes when one of the Spartans’ fans took ill.

"We were naturally all concerned for his well-being,” said Mitchell, “but we think he is going to be ok. We think all he might be suffering from is a bit of concussion as it looks like he might have hit his head as he has fallen.”

On Saturday, (March 12) Spartans are home to 18th placed Chester, just a point above them, before travelling to take on Guiseley (21st on 23 points) next Tuesday.