Tomorrow see’s Spartans welcome 3rd place Scarborough Athletic, who’s recent form rivals that of Spartans having only lost 1 of their last 9 league outings. Blyth have a chance to finally get one over the Yorkshire side though, having lost our last 3 encounters against them while conceding goals in the dying moments of games on each occasion.
Gateshead forward Aiden Rutledge joined The Seadogs on a loan deal until the end of the season after a successful first month or so down on the Yorkshire coast. In the league Rutledge has banged in 8 goals across 13 games, averaging a goal every 126 mins which is the 4th best scoring ratio in the league. Tall, quick and deadly in front of goal, Aiden is well known to us lot and will no doubt be an absolute pain to deal with tomorrow night.
As well Aiden, winger Harry Green has been lethal from the wing this season, netting 11 goals from 22 games in the league on top of being credited with a few assists. The younger brother of former Spartans midfielder Kieran Green, the pacey winger is only 22 years old and I’d expect it won’t be too long until Harry earns himself a full time move somewhere in the very near future.
On the other flank will be Luca Colville, who’s previously stung Spartans a few times over the last 2 years, usually by being a total menace on the right flank. Former Gateshead midfielder Lewis Maloney should probably be regarded as one of the best centre midfielders in the league these days. He’s just getting back to fitness following a calf injury and will no doubt dictate the game if he’s given half a chance. Alongside him in midfield should be Darlington’s 2022/23 player of the year Alex Purver, who has seemingly carried on his good form from last season. Given how good Spartans midfield has been for most of this season, tomorrow should be an extremely competitive affair.
As for Spartans, tomorrow may give Shaw and Dickman a bit of a selection headache. With JJ Hooper back to fitness and back to form alongside Harry Gardiner, it’ll be interesting to see if they keep the 5-3-2 shape they went with on Saturday or revert back to using one striker. If they do go with that shape, one of Hickey, Forbes, McGowan or Deverdics will likely be on the bench. That is provided Jord is available for selection tomorrow. On top of that, Jordan Cook may be in line for his first full start since joining the club this month.
In terms of injuries, Alex Mitchell and JJ O’Donnell are the only known long term absences at the moment. Joe Oliver is also out with injury still, though I’ve ne idea what’s up with him. According to the club’s preview for the Gloucester game, centre mid Harry Arnison is edging closer to a return as well.
No segregation appears to be in place for tomorrow night. Though with the game being streamed, I’d only expect 100-150 Scarborough fans to be making the trip North this year. That of course means Spartans fans are free to use the PRE turnstiles. As ever we’d recommend buying them in advance, which you can do here.
The club store will be open from 6:30pm as always, and the regular burger van will be in place and serving bait from 6pm onwards. As it’s a Tuesday, we’ll have no Shy’s Pie’s in the club unfortunately. That being said, the club will be open from 5pm as usual. Only live football that seems to be on TNT tomorrow will be Altrincham v Rochdale, which isn’t exactly a thrilling fixture.
As for the bookies, they still seem to narrowly favour Scarborough tomorrow night. Personally though I do fancy us to secure all 3 points tomorrow. The Seadogs maybe in great form and have a really solid all round side but with our form at the moment, I think we’ve got enough about us to finally get one over on them. Preferably with a last minute winner (for us) for a change.