MATCH VERDICT: All change in four days for Spalding United

Leon Mettam scores his first goal. Photos by Tim Wilson
Leon Mettam scores his first goal. Photos by Tim Wilson
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Spalding United 4 Romulus 0
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What a difference just a few days can make.

Spalding United went from being terrible to terrific (well, almost!) as the biggest home win so far this term followed a 4-3 away defeat.

Despite promising some changes, Dave Frecklington selected the same side which went down at Carlton Town last Tuesday night.

But perhaps all that talk of the title race being all over was a little premature...

The Tulips closed the gap to three points behind Shaw Lane ahead of next weekend’s top-of-the-table showdown in Yorkshire.

Bradley Wells took his tally to 23 goals and strike partner Leon Mettam fired a treble – making it five in two games.

Bradey Wells puts Spalding in front

Bradey Wells puts Spalding in front

The players who put in a “totally unacceptable” display in midweek certainly repaid the faith shown by Spalding’s management team in giving them another chance.

A five-match unbeaten run for Romulus was ended in a blow to their play-off hopes.

Michael Duggan was only really tested in an early scare for Spalding.

The keeper made a last-gasp tackle on Jordan Francis who had gone past a sliding challenge by skipper Nathan Stainfield.

On the spot to complete a hat-trick and the 4-0 win

On the spot to complete a hat-trick and the 4-0 win

Nathan Whitehead went close but the deadlock was broken by the Tulips’ first home goal in open play for a total of 385 minutes.

Jenk Acar switched play to Jordan Lemon and Wells put away the cross at the far post.

Mettam’s free-kick was kept out but he struck twice in a minute to put the Tulips in full control.

Matt Varley’s long throw was flicked on by Kern Miller and Mettam pounced with a right-foot finish as Romulus failed to clear the danger.

Almost immediately, it was 3-0 and effectively game over as Mettam lobbed the ball past keeper Leighton Smith who had wandered outside his box.

Smith pushed out Wells’ drive before the break then it was simply a case of keeping a clean sheet and getting the job done.

Substitute Lee Beeson set up golden opportunities for Miller and Stainfield, only for both central defenders to miss the target.

The hat-trick came from the spot after Mettam had been tripped by Kyle Burke.

Unfortunately, the loan signing was forced off with an ankle injury soon afterwards.

Whitehead’s tap-in was ruled out for offside after Smith spilled Beeson’s free-kick.

However, the result was not in doubt when Mettam got his first two goals before half-time.

It was the right response to what had happened in the previous game.

Although Shaw Lane and other teams have games in hand, Spalding hit back very well as they went into the final third of the promotion push.

SPALDING UNITED

4-4-2: Duggan 7; Walker 7 (sub Beeson 62 mins, 7), Miller 7, Stainfield 7, Jackson 7; Lemon 7, Varley 7, Whitehead 7, Acar 7; Wells 7 (sub Lockie 71 mins), Mettam 8 (sub Wightwick 76 mins). Subs not used: Fleming, Higginson.

ROMULUS

4-5-1: Smith; Evans (sub Dawson 80 mins), Burke, Welsh, Branch; Francis, Masidi (sub Graham 60 mins), Farquharson, Donnelly, Gueyes (sub Walters 60 mins); Hailey. Sub not used: Deakin.

REFEREE

Kenwyn Hughes.

GOALS

Wells (25 mins, 1-0); Mettam (39 mins, 2-0); Mettam (40 mins, 3-0); Mettam pen (72 mins, 4-0).

BOOKINGS

None.

ATTENDANCE

110

STAR MAN

Leon Mettam – who else?!

ENTERTAINMENT

★★★

WHO’S NEXT

Shaw Lane (A) – Saturday.