Armstrong: Spartans owe Reds one after opening-day defeat
BLYTH Spartans manager Alun Armstrong wants revenge after an opening day defeat when his side face Alfreton Town at Croft Park.
Spartans’ first game back in the second tier of English non-league football back in August proved to be a damp squib.
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League champions Blyth failed to make an impact at Alfreton’s Impact Stadium and went down 2-0.
Now 13 points and 10 places separate the two sides, with a win ensuring Blyth remain in fourth spot.
The club’s 13-goal top scorer Dan Maguire is fit again and likely to start, with Spartans through to the semi-finals of the Northumberland Senior Cup.
A 4-0 win over Bedlington Terriers saw Blyth join Morpeth Town and Newcastle Benfield in the last four, with Newcastle United U21s yet to face Blyth AFC in the other game.
Spartans host AFC Telford United in the FA Trophy next weekend, with Armstrong keen to go into the tie on the back of a victory.
He said: “We owe Alfreton one after what happened on the opening day when we didn’t do ourselves justice.
“It took us a little while to adapt to the league, but they will see a different Blyth side on Saturday, that’s for sure. We didn’t deserve to lose against leaders Salford last week and it’s important we pick up all three points against Alfreton.”
Evergreen talisman Robbie Dale played at centre-half against Bedlington but will be back to his usual attacking role.
Armstrong added of Dale’s return: “Robbie has the attributes to play at the back, but he’s a left-winger and a key player going forward for us.”