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Luck favours Spartans after frenetic finale; BLYTH SPARTANS 2 ALTRINCHAM 1 NATIONAL NORTH.


FINALLY some luck for Blyth Spartans.

Having been condemned to defeat at York City on Monday due to a highly contentious penalty decision, two minutes from time, things perhaps evened themselves out.

Spartans keeper Peter Jameson, who has been superb in recent week, fumbled Jamie Poole's free-kick into the path of Tom Peers TWO yards outonly for the Altrincham player to send his effort over the crossbar.

Relief for Jameson. After all, he has deserved it.

This followed five minutes after Jarrett Rivers netted the winner for the hosts.

Blyth initially took the lead through Sean Reid in the first-half, though it was level-pegging less than a minute later - Josh Hancock the scorer.

Alex Nicholson joined Spartans' injury list but boss Alun Armstrong was bolstered by the return of on loan Hartlepool United centre-back Aaron Cunningham.

When Cunningham has featured on the pitch, Blyth are yet to lose.

Jordan Hulme looked the danger man for the visitors throughout, twice shooting into the side netting in the opening 22 minutes before the game sprung into life in a hectic one-minute spell.

Reid combined with Lewis Horner on the edge of the D - the latter looping the ball over keeper Elliott Wynne on 25 minutes for a 1-0 lead.

However, with Blyth seemingly still celebrating, Hancock ran straight through the middle from the restart to fire the ball into the far corner.

Hancock, alongside Hulme, were dangerous with opportunities falling to the pair, however it was Blyth who were denied a half-time lead.

Robbie Dale, doing what he does best, twisted and turned into the penalty area only to see his attempt heroically cleared off the line by Andrew White with Rivers applying the pressure on the defender.

The home side were quickest to get going in the second period as Maguire was thwarted by Wynne after beautifully chesting the ball down before striking a first-time volley.

Reid was then on the end of a Rivers corner but could only head over.

Altrincham had three glaring opportunities to grab the advantage but it was Spartans' afternoon for the first time since their 8-1 win against Chester three weeks ago.

Jameson pulled off three outstanding saves on Monday, and his one to deny Hancock at full stretch was another one for the collection.

He then cleverly stuck out a left leg to stop Hulme from close range. Jameson was then left to watch Jake Moult hook his effort inches past the post.

It was Spartans who won it though and what a time for Rivers to get his first goal of the campaign.

Dale worked an opening on the lefthand side, the ball eventually fell to Rivers, who unleashed an effort through a load of bodies as it rose into the roof of the net.

Hulme found the side netting for a third time before Alty should have forced a point only for substitute Peers to unbelievably blaze his effort over. It really did seem impossible to miss.

KRIS HODGETTS Blyth: Jameson, Liddle, I Watson (Wrightson), Green (Oliver), Buddle, Cunningham, Rivers, Reid, Maguire, Horner, Dale (C). Subs not used: Ardelean, Butler, Skirpan Altrincham: Wynne, Densmore, White, Jones, Hannigan, Moult (C), Dale, Williams, Hulme, Harrop (Poole), Hancock (Peers) Subs not used: Goulding, Richman, Thompson


| Jarrett Rivers strikes the ball beyond keeper Elliott Wynne to give Blyth a 2-1 lead and, inset, Altrincham's Tom Peers blasts over from close range
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Sun (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 2, 2018
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