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Dominic McHale’s brace not enough to secure three points as Gloucester City fail to hold on to lead again

Steve King was left frustrated once again after seeing his side draw to Blyth Spartans 2-2, having taken an early lead.

Dom McHale scored two in quick succession after just 10 minutes, before goals from Blyth’s Troy Chiabi and Isaac Walker saw the points shared.

The game wasn’t without controversy either, with both teams being awarded a penalty and finishing the game with 10 players each due to Ben Morgan and Nicky Deverdics being shown red.

“It was a poor performance from the referee. I’ve watched the game back and Ben’s first yellow was a great tackle,” said King

“If you go and listen to their managers interview after the game, he said himself the penalty was lucky and that neither player should have been sent off.”

McHale opened the scoring after rounding off Jacob Agyepong’s low cross, before a short corner to the new number 10 allowed him to find enough space on the edge of the box to pick out the bottom left corner from range to double the lead.

Shortly after, Blyth captain Deverdics was shown a straight red for a tackle on Jack James which left the City full-back needing medical attention.

Despite hardly getting another touch of the ball for the rest of the half, Blyth pulled one back on the stroke of half time when Chiabi capitalised on a sloppy defensive error.

King explained: “It didn’t necessarily help us that they had 10 men because they changed shape and put everyone behind the ball to make it harder for us and try catch us on the break.

“In the first 10 minutes I thought they were on the front foot but then we took over and should’ve put ourselves three or four-nil up. We missed a lot of chances to put the game to bed.”

City were handed a golden opportunity to regain the two-goal advantage when Jake Andrews was tripped in the box, however, McHale was denied a hat-trick by a fine save from Alex Mitchell.

City came close once again when McHale danced his way into the box before testing the keeper. His shot was palmed into the path of Tope Obadeyi who made sure the ball went in the back of the net, only to look over and see the linesman’s flag.

Blyth dug deep to keep fighting back and were awarded a penalty when Ben Nugent was left stretching for the ball and was penalised.

Blyth’s Walker had his initial effort saved by Brandon Hall but was fortunate to see the ball fall back into his path to allow for an easy rebound to even the scores.

Towards the final few moments of the game, fatigue started to show in the legs of the City players and Morgan was forced to bring down a goal-bound Blyth attacker, resulting in a second yellow.

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