FA Cup: Spalding United ease through against nine men

Nialle Rodney
Nialle Rodney
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Emirates FA Cup second qualifying round - Coalville Town 0 Spalding United 3

Spalding United marched into the third qualifying round at the expense of an undisciplined Coalville Town side that ended the game with just nine players still on the field.

Nat Watson (33 minutes) and Jared Holmes (44 minutes) both received straight red cards for bouts of unprecendeted verbal abuse at referee David Advent.

Traditionally the encounters between the two clubs have always been keenly contested and Saturday was no exception with the Tulips expecting another hard challenge with their hosts currently occupying second spot in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s First Division South, some eight positions higher than the Tulips.

But Spalding were full of confidence and dominated large chunks of the game, particularly from defence where the combined efforts of Ross Watson, Adam Jackson, Neal Spafford and Nathan Stainfield nullified the attempts of the home attack.

Jackson in particular was prominent down the left side and received the management team’s nomination for their man of the match.

Such was the strength of the back four that goalkeeper Michael Duggan had a reasonably comfortable afternoon.

The Tulips were near to taking an 18th-minute lead when Sam Murphy’s header was cleared from the line.

But five minutes later they were ahead. Jackson’s neat forward pass put Josh Moreman on one of his trademark dashes down the left touchline. He breezed past a couple of defenders before unleashing a great shot from a narrow angle which deflected off Coalville defender Dan Freeman just inside the far post.

Within minutes the home team were down to ten players with Watson vehemently questioning a refereeing decision and receiving a red card for his outburst.

An identical situation resulted in Holmes following him to the changing room one minutes before the interval, but there was still time on the clock for Nialle Rodney to increase the Tulips’ lead with a spectacular overhead kick.

The depleted home side made two substitutions for the start of the second period and one of them, Alex Dean, was close to reducing arrears with a crisp 20-yard drive.

Spalding, despite having numerical advantage, made life difficult for themselves with a number of loose passes and missed chances.

Rodney had a good run down the right side and crossed perfectly for Michael Frew whose tame header was comfortably saved by Sean Bowles.

The home keeper, voted the best in the NPL for the past two seasons, rescued his side time again.

On the hour he was at full stretch to deny substitute Tom Waumsley, who had just replaced Frew, and minutes later plucked Adam Millson’s effort from just under the bar.

At the other end Duggan was at his best to turn a shot from Danny Jenno over the bar.

But it was the Tulips who ended the game on a high with a third goal, Moreman firing home from the penalty shot after Rodney had been tripped in the area.

Spalding: Duggan, Watson (sub Walker 61 mins), Jackson, Spafford, Stainfield, Murphy, Banister (sub Lawlor 53 mins), Millson, Frew (sub Waumsley 55 mins), Rodney, Moreman.