Late Dale strike sinks Frickley Athletic as Blyth Spartans steal all three points

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Blyth Spartans ensured Frickley Athletic could not stretch their unbeaten run to four matches as they nicked all three points at Westfield Lane on Tuesday night.

Robbie Dale’s impressive 85th-minute goal, on his 350th appearances for Blyth, inflicted a first defeat in four on the Blues and maintained Blyth’s unbeaten start on their travels in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

The South Elmsall side carved out plenty of chances but could not take them and were made to pay with Dale’s late winner.

Spartans went into the match looking to bounce back from a home defeat at Matlock at the weekend while Frickley were eager to build on a first clean sheet of the season in a 0-0 stalemate against Chorley.

The visitors made the brighter start when Matthew Wade stole the ball from Luke Jeffs but saw his shot deflected wide for a corner by Jake Picton.

The Blues’ first chance came just minutes later when Jimmy Ghaichem curled in a dangerous cross but Luke Hinsley could only loop his header over the bar.

At the other end Wade saw a low effort crash off the post and Blues goalkeeper Tom Woodhead had to be alert to produce a superb save to deny the lively Daniel Maguire.

Frickley had a great chance to edge ahead just before half-time when Steve Gardner beat the Spartans offside trap but could only chip his effort over the bar under pressure from the visiting defence.

Chances continued to come in the second half but it was Blyth who looked the more likely to open the scoring, with Woodhead denying the visitors on more than one occasion.

The Blues still had their opportunities and top-scorer Gavin Allott was almost gifted a goal with a mix-up in the Spartans defence but Arjun Purewal was on-hand to clear the danger. Picton also sent a header off-target from a Jason Yates cross.

The winner came five minutes from time and the strike was worthy of all three points. Dale danced past a number of Frickley markers before sending a clinical finish beyond Woodhead.

Frickley: Woodhead, Wilcox, Gardner, Picton, Gray, Jeffs, Ghaicham (Fearon 88), Bloor, Hinsley, Allott, Fox (Yates 66). Subs not used: Stratford, Villerman, Hood.

Blyth: Grant, Buddle, Parker, Purewal, Kendrick, Mullen, Hubbard (Hooks 76), Wade, Wearmouth (Watson 88), Dale (Airey 90), Maguire. Subs not used: Nolan, Cummings.