Final countdown for Spalding United’s play-off bid

Joe Curtis in action for Daventry Town
Joe Curtis in action for Daventry Town
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Carlton Town v Spalding United (Saturday 3pm)

With 10 games to go in the fight for a promotion play-off place, Spalding United must find a cure to their travel sickness.

The Tulips have failed to win on the road since a stunning 3-0 victory at Leek Town in mid-November.

The final countdown gets under way this weekend with a trip to relegation-threatened Carlton Town.

Spalding scored three late goals to beat Carlton 5-3 at home in Marcus Ebdon’s first game as manager following a caretaker spell in charge.

Ebdon said: “Their league position doesn’t mean a lot to us because we drew recently at the bottom two teams Loughborough Dynamo and Tividale.

“Our away form is quite poor.

With 10 games to go now, it’s all about ourselves and picking up points to give us a chance of a top-five finish because some of the other teams have games in hand.

Marcus Ebdon

“We are creating chances and not putting them away. We haven’t played well for 90 minutes – we seem to only turn up for 45, which is clearly not good enough.

“With 10 games to go now, it’s all about ourselves and picking up points to give us a chance of a top-five finish because some of the other teams have games in hand.

“I know it’s an old cliche but we just have to take one game at a time.

“We can’t afford to look too far ahead.

“We need to get three points on Saturday and then take it from there.”

Spalding will give late fitness tests to striker Stuart Eason (ankle) and defender Neal Spafford (knee).

Midfielder Joe Curtis is set to make his debut after this week’s move from Daventry Town.

Ebdon said: “He can play centrally and down the left or right.

“His major quality is ball retention. He keeps it and passes it. He comes from a background where he feels confident on the ball.

“He has played against us twice and I was impressed with him.”

Having been at Leicester City, Curtis then signed a professional contract with Southampton but suffered a serious ligament injury. Last season he played at Brackley Town and Kettering Town before joining Daventry.

Ebdon confirmed 16-year-old Jonny Lockie will stay in the squad following his full debut last weekend in the 4-0 home win over Goole.

Lockie has been invited back to Leicester City for an under-21 game and he also had a trial with Peterborough United.

Ebdon said: “He looked quite comfortable so he will definitely be involved again at some stage.

“He had done well coming on as a substitute at Coalville Town and Gresley.

“He has been around the first team and trained well so we want to give him a few games.”