Blyth Spartans vs Southport: National League North Preview, Gameweek 22, 2023
The two sides in action last season at Croft Park. (Photo: Julia Urwin/Southport FC)

In a re-arranged fixture in the National League North, Southport travel up north on Tuesday evening as they lock horns with Blyth Spartans.

In December, Port suffered the agony of having the game against Blyth postponed just three hours before kick-off due to deteriorating weather conditions. Here, the Yellows get a second bite of the cherry to face the side from the North East and a return to action following postponements with last Saturday’s game against Alfreton Town and last Tuesday’s clash against Boston United both falling foul of the weather.

In Blyth’s rut, there are some positives: two draws against promotion chasers - Gloucester City and King’s Lynn Town, and a narrow loss to another promotion chasing side in Scarborough Athletic all coming in their previous three games.

Southport have also had some positive signs, drawing to King’s Lynn and Brackley Town and similarly to their North East counterparts, were knocked out of the FA Trophy losing 3-1 to Curzon Ashton. In the Yellows recent run of form, most of their results have been draws with the exception two defeats and three wins since the start of November. 

  • Team news

Blyth Spartans

The Spartans are to be without Nathan Buddle, Lewis McNall, Alex Nicholson and Michael Liddle, who are sidelined due to injury, with other absentees Rhys Evans and Michael Richardson also expected to miss tomorrow’s clash. Jack Bodenham, who returned for Blyth on Saturday’s trip to Gloucester, could feature tomorrow.

Ryan Barrett, a new Blyth addition after his arrival from Inverness Caledonian Thistle, could be in Graham Fenton’s thoughts for a start after a cameo off the bench in Gloucestershire at the weekend.

Southport

Keenan Quansah will be in the process of completing his final of his two game ban tommorow following his red card at Peterborough Sports little over a fortnight ago.

Likely line-ups 

Blyth Spartans

Mitchell, Lees, Hickey, Walker, Round, McGowan, Elsoon, Devericks, Dopson, Main.

Southport 

McMillan, Oliver, J. Doyle, C. Doyle, Anson, Woods, Archer, Heath, Hmani, Bainbridge, Carberry. 

  • Key Players 

Isaac Walker (Blyth Spartans)

Since arriving from Redcar Athletic, Walker has been on red-hot form for Spartans.

It took him until his third game to net his first, curling home a delightful strike against local rivals Spennymoor Town. He has now netted three times in his last two games which brings his clinical scoring record in the North East to 4 goals in 5 appearances. 

Jordan Archer (Southport)

Continuing his goal-scoring prowess following his double digit season last term, Archer is only five behind his league tally from last campaign with just over half the season remaining.

Archer is fast, strong and a clinical number nine, good in the air with a constant threat of Southport’s being a long-throw and service from Jack Doyle, Michael Carberry and Connor Woods down the flanks. 

The Port’s top scorer, Archer hasn’t been his usual clinical self except from excelling against Curzon Ashton in the 2-1 win at the start of the year, but has proved to be a striker who can pop up at the right moment. 

  • Match details

Where is the game being played?

This Vanarama National League North clash will be hosted by Blyth Spartans and played at Croft Park.

What time is kickoff?

The game will commence at 19:45 (7:45PM) GMT. 

How can I watch?

There will be no television coverage of this Vanarama National League North fixture, however commentary is available on Blyth's Spartans' radio service Blyth Live. Updates will be on both Blyth and Southport's social media platforms. 

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