Missed chances and a couple of giveaway goals resulted in Spalding United missing out on more vital points in a closely-contested encounter at The Moat Ground on Tuesday night.
On a very heavy playing surface the game had all of the hallmark of being goalless as both teams battled for early supremacy.
But some indecisive defensive play culminated in an underhit back-pass which fell short of goalkeeper Michael Duggan and presented Gresley with the lead on 39 minutes.
Duggan was totally exposed but made a brave diving attempt to gather the ball as Jordan Ball side-stepped him to guide the ball home just inside a post.
The Tulips were near to levelling the scores before the break, however, with skipper Nathan Stainfield just failing to get the better of home keeper Rob Peet in an aerial contest for the ball in a packed area.
Spalding had the better of the opening stages of the second period.
Charley Sanders broke through on goal, only to fire into the side netting as Peet closed him down inside the area.
Tom Waumsley’s header from Dan Banister’s cross lacked power and the keeper saved comfortably.
With pressure maintained Sam Murphy also tested the keeper with a headed shot.
But Gresley, who played at some pace throughout, weathered the storm and pressed hard to stretch their advantage as they were held at bay by some sterling work in defence by Stainfield, Paul Walker and Adam Jackson. All three were eager to move forward and help set up some attacks.
However, the game was virtually put out of the Tulips’ reach with a second goal on 72 minutes. Duggan had pulled off a great diving save – at the expense of a corner – to deny Jack Langston but from the flag kick Gary Ricketts was afforded enough space and freedom inside the six-yard area to power in a solid header.
The remaining play was nip and tuck with a number of half chances at either end.
The Tulips were short on numbers for the game through injuries and non-availability plus illness on the night for teenage substitute Kweku Lucan.
To ease the problem Jamie Thurlbourne, who played a few games at the beginning of the season, was called up to help ease the player shortage and had a good game down the left side.
Spalding: Duggan, Walker, Jackson, Humble, Stainfield, Lawlor, Banister, Murphy, Sanders (sub Lockie 69 mins), Waumsley, Thurlbourne. Subs not used: Lucan, Ebdon.