FOOTBALL: Spalding United facing four road trips in play-off push

Chris Rawlinson
Chris Rawlinson
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South
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The race for a play-off place continues with a run of four successive away games for Spalding United.

The Tulips will travel a total of 900 miles – spending around 20 hours on the road – before they are back home again.

Next weekend’s trip to Leek Town is followed by the fixtures at Stocksbridge Park Steels, Witton Albion and Kidsgrove Athletic.

Third-placed Spalding took another step to booking a top-five finish thanks to a 1-0 home win over Belper Town on Saturday.

Lee Beeson’s second-half penalty earned three points and maintained the gap over their play-off rivals.

Boss Chris Rawlinson said: “We were expecting a battle as Belper have got some very experienced players.

Lee Beeson celebrates his winner on Saturday

Lee Beeson celebrates his winner on Saturday

“It was always going to be one of those days when we had to grind out a result.

“We had players missing so I was really pleased that the rest of the squad got us over the line.

“When you are 1-0 up at home, you’ve got to see out the game and we managed that well.

“It was a big day in terms of the play-offs and some of the other teams facing each other. Getting three points was so important.

The lads deserve to get in the play-offs for all the hard work they have put in this season.

Chris Rawlinson

“Now we can look forward to the next one at Leek.

“We’d like to make sure of a play-off place sooner rather than later, of course.

“We don’t want to go into the final three or four games knowing we have to win all of them.

“The lads deserve to get in the play-offs for all the hard work they have put in this season.

“We’ve won 20 games in the league and some players in this squad have experience of chasing a play-off place.

“If you get there, it’s a bit of a lottery in terms of who turns up on the day.”

Rawlinson expects to pick from a stronger squad for the game at Leek.

Leon Mettam missed out on Saturday after tweaking a hamstring in training.

Kern Miller and Jason Field are also expected to return while Nathan Whitehead has served a two-match ban.

Reflecting on Saturday’s win, Rawlinson added: “It was a blatant penalty and I thought we could have had a couple in the first half.

“I said at half-time that I didn’t care how we won it. We had to be patient knowing it might take a scruffy goal. That was a big result for us.”

FIXTURES

Saturday: Leek Town (A)

April 1: Stocksbridge Park Steels (A)

April 6: Witton Albion (A)

April 8: Kidsgrove Athletic (A)

April 11: Basford United (H)

April 15: Bedworth United (H)

April 17: Lincoln United (A)

April 22: Northwich Victoria (H)