‘OUT OF SORTS’

BRIAN Little confessed his Trinity team was out of sorts as they struggled to compete against Blyth on Tuesday night.

A header from Michael Tait gave Spartans a deserved half-time lead before a Neal Hooks’ strike secured an easy win for the visitors.

Little told the Standard: “We’ve had a real off night. Nothing went right from the start and it just got progressively worse.”

“A lot of players were below par and I don’t think we’ve a player who has played very well. I look across the team and nobody has played anywhere near as well as they can.”

“The better side won without a doubt; they were far and way above us.”

“I accept that we were poor, myself included, and so it’s just a bad night’s work.”

The Blues, with four changes from Saturday, had to withstand some early pressure from the visitors.

Lewis McMahon and Ryan Kendall both shot at Dan Lowson, while Stephen Turnbull hit an effort wide for Spartans as the match became more open.

Phil Barnes was alert to clear a through ball intended for Paul Brayson on 20 minutes before Blyth scored from a corner.

Tait’s header passed through a crowded penalty area and squirmed underneath Barnes.

The Trinity keeper though produced two excellent saves to prevent Spartans from adding to their advantage as they took control after the goal.

Brayson and Tait squandered further chances to put the game to rest as Gainsborough were fortunate to be only one goal behind at the break.

Assistant manager Gavin Ward replaced Barnes in goal at half-time after the later failed to recover from an injury sustained in the warm-up.

And Ward was called into action straight away; palming Brayson’s low shot wide after the restart.

Trinity then went close when Kendall’s dangerous low cross was saved by Lowson on his goal-line in the 51st-minute before Blyth got their second on the hour.

Midfielder Hooks hit a rocket of a shot from 20 yards out which flew past a rooted Ward and into the net.

Substitute Leon Mettam volleyed over, while Ward blocked two close-range efforts as the Blues rallied late on in vain.

The Blues will be looking to bounce back from their recent slump when they travel to Hinckley United on Saturday.

MATCH FACTS

Trinity: Barnes (Ward 45), Williams, Robinson, Cowan, Waterfall, Boyce, Clarke (Hibbert 75), Beckett (Mettam 74), Kendall, McMahon, Mayo. Subs not used: Aiston, Peat, Davies.

Blyth Spartans: Lowson, Groves, Cave, Tait, Swailes, Buchanan, Hooks, Turnbull, Brayson, Deverdics, Dale. Subs not used: O’Mahoney, Cunningham, Ridley.

Referee: Neil Guest.

Attendance: 264.

Goals: Tait 22, Hooks 61.

MOM: Michael Tait.