The stakes could not be any higher for wounded Spalding ahead of their win-or-bust match at fellow promoted side Belgrave on Saturday.
Unconverted tries in each half by Josh Broome and Jay Harwood failed to prevent Town being outscored by 12 tries to two against Bedford Athletic who ruthlessly exploited both wings to perfection at Memorial Field.
Even worse for stricken Spalding was the news that player-coach Ben Williams suffered a suspected broken collarbone in his side’s final home game of what has been a wretched season from start to near-finish.
Coach Debbie Phillips said: “Unfortunately as the season has gone on, we’ve had lots of injuries and a lot of the younger boys have had to step up.
“Some of them have never played at this level before and our fitness isn’t as good as it could have been and that does show with the missed tackles.
“Against a good, strong team like Bedford, one or two missed tackles and they’re going to score.”
Spalding went behind to a converted try on four minutes before Broome latched onto a rare, stray pass by the visitors to touch down just a minute later.
But kicking against a gusty, sideways wind, Broome missed the conversion and Bedford ran in 41 unanswered points to put themselves out of Town’s sights.
“There were some opportunities where we could have scored, but just the basic elements where we knocked the ball on or not quite thought where the pass was going and that’s a make-or-break moment in the game.
“We’d love to win at Belgrave, just for the boys because they’ve put so much in, especially Ben (Williams) who’s so passionate about the game.
“We’ve tried so hard and to get one win out of the season would just make it that bit better, but we can only do what we can do at the end of the day.”
Spalding captain Ryan Chappell added: “It will be a very tough game, it always is against Belgrave, because they see games against us as a bit of a rivalry.
“But we’ll go there ready to compete against them.”
There was some good news however for Chappell who found out that his £10 pound wager on the Grand National came up trumps with Many Clouds winning at 25-1.
Chappell said: “At least I won something today.”