BLYTH SPARTANS 5 BOSTON UNITED 2: Pilgrims punished by sloppy start

Harry Vince.
Harry Vince.

Mark that one down as a day to forget. Boston United were thumped 5-2 at Blyth Spartans, the victims of their own failure to learn from early mistakes.

Dan Maguire scored a hat-trick within the opening 37 minutes while Nathan Buddle and Jarrett Rivers added to the hosts’ impressive tally.

Harry Vince and Karl Hawley led a mini fightback for Boston, but the damage had already been done and the Blyth spirit prevailed.

Written amongst the advertising hoardings at Croft Park is a quote from Agis II, the 17th King of Sparta: “Spartans do not ask ‘how many are the enemy, but where are they’?”

And as the hosts stormed into a 3-0 lead within the opening 14 minutes, the answer to that question could quite frankly be ‘not marking tightly enough at corners’.

Maguire headed home his seventh of the season with less than three minutes on the clock as Boston gave the hotshot far too much room from a corner.

And the lead was doubled seven minutes later as, from another Rivers dead ball, Buddle was afforded time to pick his spot.

Maguire added his second of the season from yet another corner from the right, this time Jack Cowgill winning the initial header but the striker able to control the second ball and beat George Willis on the turn.

Were it not for the Boston keeper the score could have been even greater by the 20th minute, Willis denying Robert Dale from close range with his legs, tipping Andrew Cartwright’s drive round his post and saving bravely at the feet of Dale Hopson as the onslaught continued.

With United chasing the game Tyrell Waite replaced Brad Beatson with just 22 minutes played, the away side seemingly springing to life.

Jack Broadhead forced an effort wide and Kabongo Tshimanga struck the post with a header.

But Maguire completed his hat-trick with just 37 minutes gone.

A long ball over the top, so often United’s Achilles heel this season, beat Jordan Keane and the forward snuck in to fire beyond Willis and take his season’s tally to nine.

But Boston had the final say of the half, Harry Vince - in for the unavailable Ashley Hemmings - squeezing Tshimanga’s cutback beyond Peter Jameson at his near post.

The second half began with more Spartans pressure, Willis tipping Maguire’s effort round his post and remaining rooted as Hopson’s 20-yard drive flew wide of his post.

It was United, however, who reduced the arrears in the 71st minute as substitute Hawley instantly marked his arrival.

James Clifton’s corner evaded all in the box, allowing Brad McGowan to loft a high ball into the danger zone, where Tshimanga hooked the ball into the path of Hawley, gifting him a simple finish two minutes after joining the game.

Rivers ended any hopes of a Pilgrims fightbcak in the 79th minute, tapping in on the line after being teed up perfectly by Adam Wrightson.

Waite brought out a rare save from Jameson late on, but it was Blyth who - moving up to fourth in the table - claimed the points to secure their second home win.

BLYTH: Jameson, Cartwright, Watson, Reid (Wrightson 68), Buddle, Hutchinson, Rivers, Mullen, Maguire (Longstaff 82), Hopson, Dale (McTiernan 68); Subs (not used): Liddle, MacDonald.

UNITED: Willis, Clifton, Yeomans, Beatson, Keane, Cowgill (McGowan HT), Rollins, Chapman, Tshimanga, Vince (Hawley 69), Broadhead; Subs (not used): McGuire, Hare.

Ref: Adam Herczeg.

Att: 773.