Blyth pushing for a third successive promotion

37 games gone in Blyth Spartans' League 2 campaign and things are looking good. 2nd in the race for the championship and only four points behind favourites Southend Utd. We are also 9 clear of 8th so at least a playoff spot looks likely.

There are some concerns though, firstly the leaking of goals and failing to put away teams with a lower league placing. this highlights our utter complacency. Another real problem is  being unable to cover for two quality players leaving the club. Jamie Ness and Kal Naismith were unwilling to extend their loans and this has left the club short of some quality. We have also been hit by some untimely injuries with talisman Pierrick Chantreuil succumbing to a torn hamstring, Stéphane Marseille suffering a groin strain and other players just not performing consistently.

To cover for some of these short-comings I brought in a few players, Ian McShane, Dylan McGeouch, Steven Meechan, Nathan Rooney and Ángel Lavín were all tested in the centre of midfield to varying degrees of success.

To provide competition for the error-prone Liam O'Brien, ex-Chelsea youth Sam Walker was brought in for £3K from Welsh club Neath. He's not half bad and the amount of goals conceded have reduced.

Ryan Donaldson was also signed having been on loan for the club. He impressed with 9 goals in 14 appearances and I thought I'd put in a cheeky bid of £0 to Newcastle for him - THEY ACCEPTED?!? - At £1000 p/w Ryan become my highest paid player, but ever since signing he's not really impressed, with just 3 goals in 10, and a poultry average rating of 6.80. And to make matters worse, he's now injured for the run-in.

Amid some poor results and a few good-uns is the fantastic result in the FA Cup 3rd Round where we tonked Championship side Nottingham Forest, at home in front of a packed house, 2-1. This earned us £75K and the right to face either Arsenal or Coventry City in the 4th Round. Unfortunately Coventry upset the Gunners and ruined our chances of a dream tie. We ended up losing to Cov in front of 4400 fans at Croft Park but did bank another £75K to help swell the coffers.


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