Blyth Spartans 5-2 Boston United
Boston United conceded four first half goals to ensure Saturday’s longest trip of the season was one to forget.
The Pilgrims were 3-0 down inside 15 minutes at Blyth Spartans and were four goals behind before they briefly rallied with strikes either side of the break from Harry Vince and Karl Hawley.
Jarrett Rivers’ late fifth added gloss to the scoreline for Spartans, whose first half scorers were hat-trick hero Dan Maguire and centre-half Nathan Buddle.
It was a chastening afternoon for the visitors, who conceded from three corners within the first quarter of an hour.
MAGUIRE guided a free header past Willis in the third minute before BUDDLE powered a firm header into the net seven minutes later.
The Pilgrims failed to clear their lines in the 14th minute and MAGUIRE swivelled to add his second and Blyth’s third.
United’s best chance in response fell to Kabongo Tshimanga, who rattled the post with a header following James Clifton’s cross.
Blyth increased their lead to four eight minutes before the break when MAGUIRE raced onto a long ball downfield to smash beyond George Willis with aplomb and complete his hat-trick in style.
Adam Chapman and Jay Rollins had headers saved by Peter Jameson in the Blyth goal before United cut the deficit when VINCE rolled the ball home after good play down the left from Tshimanga.
Willis denied Maguire again after the break with a fine save, while Chapman stood up well to Robbie Dale’s fierce free-kick.
United reduced the arrears further with 19 minutes to play when substitute HAWLEY finished from close-range after fellow sub Brad McGowan had kept alive Clifton’s deep corner.
The Pilgrims’ hopes of an unlikely comeback were extinguished on 79 minutes when Adam Wrightson wriggled clear on the left-hand side to square the ball to afford RIVERS a simple tap-in.
Blyth Spartans (4-2-3-1): Peter Jameson; Andrew Cartwright, Nathan Buddle, Ryan Hutchinson, Ian Watson; Sean Reid (David McTiernan 66), Damon Mullen; Jarrett Rivers, Dale Hopson; Robbie Dale (Adam Wrightson 66); Dan Maguire (Macauley Longstaff 83). Subs (not used): Michael Liddle, Shaun MacDonald (gk).
Boston (3-5-2): George Willis; Jack Cowgill (Brad McGowan 46), Jordan Keane, Brad Beatson (Tyrell Waite 22); James Clifton, Jack Broadhead, Adam Chapman, Harry Vince (Karl Hawley 69), Jan Yeomans; Kabongo Tshimanga, Jay Rollins. Subs (not used): Taron Hare, Jamie McGuire.
Referee: Adam Herczeg.