Roberts double not enough as Blues lose at Blyth

Mikey Roberts netted a double at Blyth, but it was not enough to save Whitby Town from defeat
Mikey Roberts netted a double at Blyth, but it was not enough to save Whitby Town from defeat

A brace from Mikey Roberts proved to be in vain as Whitby Town slipped to a 3-2 loss at Blyth Spartans on Tuesday evening.

The Blues, who went into the game top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division table, fielded an unchanged side from the one that crushed Stourbridge on Saturday.

Shane Bland made a number of important saves in Town's defeat at Blyth

Shane Bland made a number of important saves in Town's defeat at Blyth

They were however under pressure early on and fell behind in the 13th minute.

Arran Wearmouth escaped down the right and drilled the ball towards the near post where Shane Bland could only parry and Dan Maguire followed up from close range.

Town were gifted a way back into the game when Dillon Morse slid in rashly on Roberts as he tricked his way into the six-yard box in the 24th minute.

Roberts then dusted himself off to slot into the bottom-right corner from the resulting spot-kick.

In an open game, Whitby found themselves hanging on at the end of the first half and the second period began in similar fashion with the Spartans somehow contriving to spurn six chances in as many minutes after the resumption.

The hosts were then left stunned when Darren Williams’ men took the lead for the first time, with 57 minutes on the clock.

Town won a free-kick some 25 yards from goal, centrally positioned and Roberts hit a rising effort, with venom, close to keeper Tom McHugh who somehow held then dropped the ball over the line as he turned to face his own goal.

It took just six minutes more for the home side to get back on terms.

It was another free-kick, this time for a hard to fathom offence at similar range. Dale stepped up and hammered an unstoppable low drive past the defensive wall and just inside Bland’s left-hand post.

Bland, who was enjoying a fine game and had aready made a number of important stops, pulled off another save from Dale, before being left helpless by the same player who headed home what proved to be the winning goal with 14 minutes to play.

Substitute Liam Shepherd almost snatched a last-gasp equaliser, but his effort was saved by McHugh and Whitby were beaten.

Full match report and reaction in Friday’s Gazette.