Tinnion salvages a point for the Reds
A fair result in the end, with both teams doing enough to avoid defeat but not sufficient to win.
The draw probably suits Reds better than Blyth, in terms of play-off qualification, yet both did their utmost to convert one point into three. And, after completing their fourth game in ten days, Gavin Skelton was delighted with the four point haul over the Easter week-end.
“It was a good point from a closely fought contest between two good sides. They had spells and so did we, but our work ethic carried us through,” he said afterwards.
In a bid to ‘freshen up’ his starting eleven, the manager recalled the three T’s with Conor Tinnion, Matty Tymon and Adam Telfer all making positive contributions to the cause. Tymon and Telfer have had little game time of late but both displayed an appetite suggesting they were pleased to be back.
Tinnion, meanwhile, salvaged a point for Reds with his ninth goal of the season five minutes before the interval.
It levelled the scores after Reds had gifted Spartans a second minute opener. Kyle May completely missed what should have been a routine clearance enabling Dan Maguire to break clear. He pulled the ball back into Michael Richardson’s path who guided the ball beyond Jonny Jamieson’s despairing dive to give Blyth an early advantage.
But the bumper Bank Holiday crowd, Borough Park’s best for six years, rallied to encourage a fight-back.
Tymon scuffed one effort wide via Jake Simpson’s free-kick, a Skelton effort lacked the power to trouble Nick Thomson, Tinnion almost scored but saw his shot blocked, Skelton’s speculative lob was palmed over by Thomson and Josh Calvert’s effort appeared to be on target until deflected to safety by colleague, Tymon.
Then, in the fortieth minute, Reds deservedly equalised. Skelton and Tymon linked well to set up Tinnion who glided past one defender before shooting low beyond the unsighted Thomson from the edge of the area.
Alex Newby went close to scoring either side of the interval before Blyth enjoyed their best spell of the game. They had Reds pinned back in their own half for long periods but couldn’t capitalise on a flurry of corners.
Neal Hooks was prominent for the visitors in the second half coming closest to scoring a match winning goal. His well struck shot was on target but kept out by Jamieson’s diving save at the expense of a corner.
At the other end, Tymon’s well directed header, via a Simpson free-kick, was confidently held by Thomson who then thwarted Kyle May by saving from point-blank range.
There were loud appeals for a penalty from red shirted attackers when Danny Parker’s clearance appeared to be handled by Hooks, but the referee saw nothing untoward and waved play on. Tinnion then went to ground soon after but home appeals for a spot-kick were more in hope than anger.
Both could still obtain a play-off berth, although Spartans may have to rely on others dropping points.
Workington: Jamieson, Simpson, Smith S, May, Calvert (O’Donnell, 83), Skelton, Tinnion, McLuckie, Tymon, Newby (Wright, 73), Telfer (Salmon, 65). Substitutes – Hindmarch, Arnison (not used).
Blyth Spartans: Thomson, Nicholson, Mullen, Bramley, Parker, Turnbull, Wearmouth (Rivers, 65), Hooks, Maguire, Richardson (Hawkins, 85), Dale (Davis, 84). Substitutes – Lynch, Watson (not used).
Referee: Mr J Matthews, Stockton
Bookings: Turnbull, Mullen (Spartans)