A crazy own-goal settled the Boxing Day derby along with another clean sheet.
At times like that early gift to Spalding United, you simply wonder what’s going on!
Why would any defender at any level make such a bad decision?
Why pass the ball back to the goalkeeper when you feel that you can’t deal with it?
Why not take the option of kicking it out for a throw-in and start all over again?
There was no real danger as Tulips centre-half Neal Spafford knocked the ball down the left flank and Brad Barraclough tried to retrieve possession.
Strike partner Bradley Wells kept running but he wasn’t putting too much pressure on Lincoln United’s back four.
Captain Michael Jacklin still seemed to have time and space to get the ball forward or out of play.
Instead, he decided that keeper Jake Turner should take responsibility. Why?!
But the back-pass rolled under Turner’s right boot and Jacklin had scored into his own net.
It was a perfect start to the second half of the season for the Tulips.
Suddenly they had been given an advantage almost out of nothing.
Having kept a hat-trick of clean sheets in successive wins, Spalding knew they had to get the job done again.
It wasn’t pretty – but who cares? You don’t get bonus points for entertainment.
It was a big battle and the Tulips have shown plenty of times that they are capable of winning these games.
Nathan Whitehead came close with a couple of early efforts against his former club while Nathan Stainfield also forced a save from Turner moments after his mistake.
Stainfield’s sliced attempt at a clearance almost brought another own-goal. However, yet again the skipper was on top form at the heart of the defensive unit.
Spalding were perhaps fortunate as a penalty claim was rejected – although Matt Varley appeared to bring down Matthew Cotton.
Wells and Barraclough – in partnership at home for the first time – could have made it 2-0 before the break.
Michael Duggan held onto Jacklin’s far-post header and former Tulips striker Jordan Hempenstall was denied twice in the second half.
Hempenstall was so close to a late leveller as he turned on the edge of the box and hit a left-foot drive which bounced off the post.
Turner kept out Wells in the final action but that early error by the Whites’ number one proved decisive.
Maybe next time Jacklin won’t even pass the ball back but Spalding don’t care how they managed to win it.
Four clean sheets and four wins have put the Tulips very much in the promotion pack and closer to top spot.
4-4-2: Duggan 7; Walker 7, Spafford 7, Stainfield 8, Jackson 7; Lemon 7, Varley 7, Whitehead 7, Higginson 6 (sub Acar 61 mins, 6); Wells 7, Barraclough 7. Subs not used: Field, Lockie.
4-2-3-1: Turner; Hornsey, Jacklin, Blunden, Ward (sub Smithson 83 mins); Wright, Brooks (sub King h-t); Cotton, Toyne (sub Norris 67 mins), Smith; Hempenstall. Subs not used: Millard, Hutchinson-Wilkes.
Jacklin og (6 mins, 1-0).
Higginson, Wells (kicking ball away); Hempenstall, Smith (fouls).
Nathan Stainfield – won majority of battles to protect a clean sheet.
Carlton Town (A) – Thursday.