Spartan life suits Toon star

By David Watters

Blyth Spartans

Newcastle United defender Michael Riley reckons he’s enjoying life at Blyth Spartans after making his Evo-Stik Northern Premier League debut in Boxing Day’s 2-2 draw against Whitby Town.

The Under 21 normally plays at left back but was moved into midfield by manager Paddy Atkinson to help the Spartans overturn a 2-0 half time deficit.

The loan signing, who hopes to make his second appearance against league leaders North Ferriby United at Croft Park on New Year's Day, said: "It was an interesting game and I enjoyed the physical aspect of it. I’m more used to the more technical side of the game playing at Newcastle so it took some getting used to.

"But I've been made to feel welcome here and obviously I knew lads who used to be at Newcastle like Ryan [McGorrigan] and Phil [Airey]. I'm not really a shy lad so I'll settle in anywhere but I'm really enjoying it here."

Riley’s former Newcastle teammate McGorrigan has hailed his stunning 25 yard volley to secure a point for Spartans as one of the best goals of his career.

The 22-year-old striker, who arrived at Croft Park from Gateshead in October, said: "It's definitely one of the best I've scored, it’'s certainly up there I think. I just went for it really as the game was there for the taking. You're looking for a clean connection first of all and I couldn’t have asked for it to pop up better than it did. It was great to see it go in."

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