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Sunderland youngster Almond receives praise after making debut on loan at Blyth Spartans

Sunderland youngster Patrick Almond received praise from Blyth Spartans manager Terry MItchell after making his debut for the National League North club.

By Mark Carruthers
Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 4:03 pm

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Sunderland youngster Patrick Almond (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Sunderland youngster Patrick Almond (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The Northumberland-born defender will spend the rest of the season with the Croft Park outfit as he looks to step up his development.

Almond made a first Spartans appearance in a friendly win against Northern League club Seaham Red Star last week and was handed only the second senior start of his career when MItchell’s side visited Alfreton Town on Saturday.

The 19-year-old was given a physical test in his first appearance in non-league’s second tier as he faced the powerful Matt Rhead and former Nottingham Forest frontman Nathan Tyson.

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But the youngster came through with flying colours as he more than played his part in a hard-earned win for his temporary side.

A Dan Maguire goal ten minutes from time gave Spartans their first away win in the league this season and Almond was part of a defence that kept their first league clean sheet on the road.

Spartans boss Mitchell hailed the defender after he “stepped up and showed responsibility” - and is looking forward to seeing more of the same throughout the remainder of his loan spell in Northumberland.

He told The Echo: “It was a really positive debut with and without the ball.

“Coming from an academy, we expected he would be fine in possession of the football.

“But this was a new kind of test because we know Alfreton are direct and Patrick wouldn’t have experienced too much of that in the Under-23s.

“He’s a strong lad himself, but he came up against Matt Rhead, who is a physical player, and he did really well.

“He’s come through with flying colours to be honest and all of his defensive play - on the ground and in the air - was very impressive.

“We lost our captain Nathan Buddle to an injury - but Patrick stepped up and showed responsibility.

“We have absolute confidence in him, we think he will continue to be this kind of player and we have absolute belief in him.”

Blyth currently sit in 17th place and Almond will be in the Spartans squad once again when they travel to Leamington next weekend.