In what was always going to be a competitive opening day fixture, Blyth showed the better quality in the final 3rd to take all 3 points at home to Alliance newcomers Rothbury FC.
Before the game got underway, a late change to the Blyth team saw wide man Josh Monaghan miss out on making his 50th appearance for the club with a sore toe, following what he described as “a mix up at the local beauty shop”.
A. Laviers opened the scoring on 18 minutes following an individual error within the Blyth penalty area, calm finish from the Rothbury striker (0-1). The away side continued to create chances before a piece of Blyth play saw last seasons top goalscorer Ryan Priest link up well with summer signing Joe Moscrop to bring the game back level on 37 minutes (1-1).
Moscrop will be looking to beat his tally in the league last season of 28 goals and drive Blyth towards their ambition of promotion this season.
Following the restart it took A. Laviers 3 minutes to double his and the away sides tally in the game another individual error from the Blyth back line allowed Smith to nick the ball from the midfield before playing a forward pass to A. Laviers who produced another composed finished (1-2).
The home side couldn’t have complained if they had gone in at half time 3-1, that man A. Laviers again, this time driving down the left wing, knocking the ball passed the defender before producing a curling effort from just outside the area that look destined for the far right corner only for a superb diving save from Anderson to keep the score at 2-1 going into the break.
Blyth started the second half much the better side, a foul on Man of the Match Michael Egdell within the penalty area saw the referee point to the spot. Moscrop stepped up and dispatched the penalty (2-2).
The turning point in the game was the introduction of Liam Gibson, a player who only made 5 appearances for the club last season, was able to stretch the game for the home side against the tiring defence of Rothbury.
Blyth captain Phillips sending through a lovely weighted ball to Gibson on 73 minutes to leave him 1v1 with the keeper before calmly dispatching to give his side the lead for the first time in the game (3-2).
After more sustained pressure the game was soon to be wrapped up on 79 minutes, the combination of Phillips and Gibson once again saw the exact same outcome (4-2)
Blyth played well in spells, sloppiness with individual errors is something that needs to be removed from the sides play as this may cost us in other games this season. Great togetherness and grit was shown in spells with a special mention for MoM Michael Egdell who put in his best performance in a Blyth shirt.
Lots of positives to take from a game in which we didn’t play up to our expected standard but got the win. This should give the team plenty of confidence for the rest of the season.
Team: Anderson, Tumilty, Richardson, Miller, Egdell, Hornsby, Phillips, Bolam, Priest, Fitzsimmons, Moscrop.
Subs used: Burgess, Gibson, Page
Goals: Moscrop (37, 60), Gibson (73,79).
Rothbury (3-5-2): Capper, Proudlock, Macpherson, J. Laviers, McClure, Herron, Brown, Smith, Makin, Old, A. Laviers.
Subs used: McCann, Wilson.
Booked: J. Laviers.
Goals: A. Laviers (18, 40).
This was the first time Blyth have faced Rothbury in a competitive fixture. Rothbury hosted Blyth in a preseason friendly earlier on in the summer with the visitors coming out 4-2 winners in that fixture as well.
Seghill FC, Northern Football Alliance Division 2, Seghill Rugby Club (NE23 7EZ), 6.15pm Kick Off