Spartans denied victory by late injury time penalty from Alfreton

Blyth Spartans took a point with a battling performance in a 2-2 home draw with Alfreton at Croft Park on Saturday, although ultimately the home side were denied a victory with a penalty deep into time added on.
Blyth Spartans.Blyth Spartans.
Blyth Spartans.

Baily Hobson put the visitors in front after only four minutes in with a fine long-range effort.

It was the only goal of the first half, but on 70 minutes Spartans equalised through JJ O’Donnell with his second goal in a week.

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Josh Scott then turned in a strike from Nicky Deverdics on 80 minutes to put the home side in front with his first goal for the club, only for Matt Rhead to salvage a point for the visitors when he scored a penalty to level in the 99th minute.

Manager Graham Fenton said: “I was disappointed with the way we started. We were slow out of the blocks again and the intensity just wasn’t good enough.

"We managed to turn things around, but in the end I was surprised where the ten minutes of added time came from, during which they (Alfreton) scored their equaliser.

"I thought our luck was starting to turn for us today when we got our second goal, but ultimately it hasn’t."

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Fenton said was was ‘happier but not happy’ with the second half performance.

The lads have shown than they can produce better displays than that,” he said. “But again we have been up and down and we have to be more consistent.

"I don’t have any complaints about the late penalty, it was a penalty, but it was a mystery where all the extra time came from, as I think they scored from the spot nine minutes after the 90.”

JJ O’Donnell added: “It was disappointing not to win the game.

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"We were poor in the first half, as we didn’t have any intensity or tempo.

"We were a lot better in the second half but we lost out to a sucker punch right at the end.

"It was a tough one, I’m gutted but we need to learn from this.”

On a personal note O’Donnell said he was delighted to have rekindled his touch in front of goal.

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"It’s taken a while,” he said, “but one on Tuesday and another today, even if it was a deflection, I’ll take that.

"With the heights I reached last season I had been hoping to repeat that, but hopefully this is now the catalyst to go on and score a few more.