FOOTBALL: We’ve got time to put it right, says Spalding United manager

Chris Rawlinson
Chris Rawlinson

Spalding United boss Chris Rawlinson has “complete faith” in getting the squad ready for the big kick-off.

The Tulips failed to score in two pre-season defeats last week.

But Rawlinson isn’t too worried with five friendlies to come ahead of August 12’s Evo-Stik South opener away to Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Spalding were beaten 1-0 at Winterton Rangers and just 48 hours later they lost 3-0 to Grantham Town in the Lincolnshire FA Senior Cup quarter-final.

Rawlinson said: “If we had won the promotion play-off final, we would have been in the same league as Grantham – but we looked miles off them.

“We’ve still got time to put it right and I’ve got complete faith in these players.

Michael Duggan looks back to see the ball bounce in for the second goal at Grantham on Friday night. Photos by Toby Roberts

Michael Duggan looks back to see the ball bounce in for the second goal at Grantham on Friday night. Photos by Toby Roberts

“We need a fully-fit squad through pre-season ready for the first league game.

“We won’t hit the panic button. There’s a long way to go this summer and a lot of work to do.

“I thought we started quite well on Friday night but then Jordan Lemon came off with a dislocated wrist.

“He was screaming in pain behind us and perhaps the referee could have given us a few seconds to regroup.

We won’t hit the panic button. There’s a long way to go this summer and a lot of work to do.

Chris Rawlinson

“I was disappointed we conceded with 10 men on the pitch because we still had a chance to clear our lines.

“We don’t want people bringing the ball down in the box. From that mistake, they put the ball into the near post and Paul Walker scored an own-goal when he was trying to stop the danger.

“The second goal came from bad defending and that’s the second time in two games where we’ve conceded from a corner.

“We haven’t worked on set-plays but players have got to take more responsibility.

Neal Spafford tries to deny Lee Shaw

Neal Spafford tries to deny Lee Shaw

“Although Grantham had a lot of the ball in the first half, we limited them to one more chance after those two sloppy goals.

“We could have scored twice and we kept going in the second half.

“We were a little bit short in terms of numbers and that showed against a good side.”

Lemon went to hospital on Friday night, Jenk Acar was forced to miss the game due to illness and Nathan Whitehead was unavailable.