FOOTBALL: Six of best for Spalding United

Spalding were beaten 1-0 by Shaw Lane last month
Spalding were beaten 1-0 by Shaw Lane last month
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Shaw Lane v Spalding United
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New boss Chris Rawlinson takes charge of Spalding United for the start of a key period in the promotion push.

The Tulips could move level on points with league leaders Shaw Lane on Saturday.

But they make the trip to Barnsley knowing that a play-off place is a much more realistic target than a title challenge.

The rest of the top five in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South all have games in hand on Spalding.

The next six fixtures are all against promotion rivals so Rawlinson faces a baptism of fire, having replaced Dave Frecklington this week.

Rawlinson said: “Looking at the league table, it would take a monumental slip-up by Shaw Lane and Witton Albion for us to stand any chance of being champions.

Looking at the league table, it would take a monumental slip-up by Shaw Lane and Witton Albion for us to stand any chance of being champions.

Chris Rawlinson

“It would be wonderful to win at Shaw Lane on Saturday and go joint-top, even though they have five games in hand.

“While it is mathematically possible to finish top, we will try our best to achieve that.

“However, our primary thought must be getting this group into the play-offs when we would be very hard to beat over a semi-final and final.

“We have a target of seven more wins to hit 77 points for a top-five finish. It would be great to maintain our average of two points per game over the next bunch of six against Shaw Lane, AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Sheffield, Leek Town and Witton Albion twice.

“We are second for a good reason because we’ve won 17 games and that’s where we deserve to be.

“We proved at home to Shaw Lane that we can be as good as them.

“They got the only goal with a clinical finish and their goalkeeper was the man of the match.

“Their midweek match was called off so the pitch will be heavy and it’s going to be a battle on Saturday.”