FOOTBALL PREVIEW: D-Day for Tulips, Chand wants Tigers to impress

A BIG weekend of football could see Spalding United relegated at Kidsgrove Athletic, while Holbeach United are at Daventry.

Kidsgrove Athletic v Spalding United (Saturday, 1pm)

D-DAY has arrived for the Tulips with their relegation likely to be confirmed by 3pm.

No less then 20 Evo-Stik League First Division South places and 52 points separate these two sides, with Spalding needing to win to stave off the drop.

Throw the Tulips’ away record into the mix – they’ve picked up two points from 18 games on the road – and this would appear to be the safest of home bankers.

Spalding boss Andy Stanhope admits his side are up against it, but challenged his players to show their worth.

He said: “There’s nothing much we can do now, to be honest it’s been out of our hands for a while now. What will be, will be.

“Kidsgrove are a strong side and we’re used to being underdogs.

“It’s more about the players staking a claim for next season now. We’ll be looking at the lads closely and deciding if they’re in our plans for next season.”

Stanhope has no new injury problems, with Ben Denham still missing and wingers Josh Nodder still struggling with a cartilage problem.

Even if the Tulips pull off a shock victory, they will still be relegated should Rainworth Miners Welfare and Leek Town both secure wins.

Kick off is 1pm as England play Wales at 3pm.

Daventry United v Holbeach United (Saturday, 3pm)

JOHN Chand has challenged his charges to finish the season in style – and earn their shirt for next season.

After a turbulent start to the campaign, the Tigers are now in the security of mid-table, allowing Chand to cast half an eye towards the summer.

The former Magnet Tavern supremo can’t wait for next season, but his side still have four games left to negotiate – starting with a second date with Daventry in 14 days.

Chand said: “I’m really looking forward to having a strong pre-season.

“We just didn’t have one last year. I’ll look to build a side that can challenge in the top seven or eight next season, so that’ll mean making a few changes.

“It’s up to the lads to prove that they want to be a part of the club and earn their shirt with a few more good performances.”

The suspended Mitch Griffiths is Holbeach’s only absentee, while Luke Kennedy and Mark Thompson return to the squad.

Matt Warfield will be assessed before kick-off.