FOOTBALL: Spalding United need to re-focus and find a response

Chris Rawlinson
Chris Rawlinson
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Spalding United face a trek to title-chasing Witton Albion on Thursday night – but manager Chris Rawlinson feels ready for the challenge.

The Tulips were the only team in the top nine places to suffer a defeat on Saturday.

They lost 2-0 at Stocksbridge Park Steels who kept alive their play-off dreams in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s First Division South.

Leon Mettam’s second-half penalty was saved and Kern Miller got a red card for violent conduct.

Spalding will be looking to bounce back immediately by halting Witton’s championship bid.

Rawlinson said: “It’s all about how we respond now and I think it’s a great game to go away on Thursday night.

Losing means we have to re-focus because it’s a kick up the backside to show we are not as good as we think we are. That was obvious on Saturday.

Chris Rawlinson

“Nobody will be expecting us to win at Witton but it’s a different test for us.

“We need to be solid and tight. The pressure will be on Witton, especially if they can take over at the top of the table following Tuesday night’s results.

“It would be a brilliant way for us to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat.

“Football has a wonderful way of bringing you back to earth.

“We were celebrating a 4-0 win at Leek Town the previous weekend and we thought we had cracked it.

“Losing means we have to re-focus because it’s a kick up the backside to show we are not as good as we think we are. That was obvious on Saturday.

“Every player deserved seven or eight out of 10 for their performance at Leek. They would get six at best from Saturday’s game.

“However, it wasn’t our worst performance. In the first 15 minutes we caused problems.

“If we had scored from the penalty to make it 1-1, it could have been so different.

“Overall, though, I didn’t think that we dealt with their threat.

“It’s the first time this year I can honestly say our midfield didn’t win the battle which is very much unlike us.

“I was disappointed with the indiscipline as well when we got stretched and let the officials’ decisions get on top of us. We started snatching at things and arguing.”