By Andrew McDonnell
Blyth AFC were edged out 1-0 by Tow Law Town in their first pre-season match of the summer at Ironworks Road.
Jon McDonald and Ian Skinner had summer-signings Curtis Coppen, Craig McFarlane and Jack Walker, all defenders, and forward Dylan Williamson in the starting line-up for the match.
The two sides exchanged a couple of chances in the opening half-hour of the game as Tow Law and Blyth started to work their way into the game.
Scott Lowery drilled an effort just over the bar on 32 minutes before Craig McFarlane’s cross was just out of the reach of Cameron Fenton, who could only get a slight touch on the ball.
Liam Gillesphey’s 25-yard effort minutes later thundered inches over the crossbar. The closest either side come in the first-half was three minutes before the break as Damon Reaks’ effort struck the inside of the post and rolled across the face of goal.
Trialist A produced two great saves in quick succession just before half-time, denying Kai Hewitson twice and keeping the game goalless at the break.
Six changes were made at half-time by the Braves and one of those substitutes capitalised on a mistake at the back on 54 minutes. Michael Chilton intercepted a header back, flicker the ball goalwards and the approaching ‘keeper made a good stop.
It was one-way traffic for the next 25 minutes, with Jack Walker, Bobby Taylor and David Robinson all going close to breaking the deadlock.
Trialist A was called into action on 74 minutes as Tow Law’s number six raced through and was denied by the ‘keepers legs. A floating cross/shot from the left sailed over the ‘keeper on 88 minutes and rattled the crossbar.
The visitors were handed a sucker-punch in the second minute of additional time as Lovegreen rifled home from inside the area to hand the hosts the victory.
Blyth AFC First-Half Team: Trialist A, Walker, Tumilty, Coppen, McFarlane, Gillesphey, Henderson, Antony, Williamson, Fenton, Day
Blyth AFC Second-Half Team: Trialist A, Walker, Tumilty, Gillesphey, McFarlane, Taylor, Trialist B, Robinson, McRoberts, Wilson, Chilton
Goals: 1-0, 90+2 min, Lovegreen
Referee: Shane Sugden
Assistants: Dave Swindells and Alan Breeze