MATCH VERDICT: Big impact by new signings at Spalding United

Lee Beeson scores the winner. Photos by Tim Wilson
Lee Beeson scores the winner. Photos by Tim Wilson
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Spalding United 2 Chasetown 1

New signings must make an instant impact coming into a team pushing for promotion.

Kern Miller and Leon Mettam certainly did that at Spalding United on Saturday.

There is no time to settle in when the Tulips are chasing the league leaders as well as trying to open up a gap from the play-off rivals.

Miller’s man-of-the-match performance at the heart of the back four was a terrific defensive display.

Mettam looked lively up front, even though at times he was feeding off scraps in terms of the service.

He was brought down for the first of two penalties which were coolly converted by another recent recruit.

Celebrations as Spalding go 2-1 up

Celebrations as Spalding go 2-1 up

After two assists in last week’s win at Rugby Town from set-pieces, Lee Beeson delivered again.

He was put on the spot to cancel out Josh Ruff’s opener for Chasetown.

Beeson stepped up from 12 yards midway through the second half to secure a first home win of 2017.

Overall, there could be no complaints from Chasetown over their first-ever league defeat to Spalding.

Kern Miller was named man of the match

Kern Miller was named man of the match

Dave Frecklington and his management team also got an opening victory against the Scholars of Staffordshire.

The second-placed side should have won by a bigger margin – but that doesn’t really matter.

The Tulips made a much brighter start than in the past few weeks and there was no need to panic when they fell behind.

Spalding could have done better to clear the danger at a corner before Ruff fired a right-foot drive inside the near post.

Just moments earlier, Mettam’s 20-yard thunderbolt had been tipped over the bar by Curtis Pond.

The keeper pushed out Nathan Stainfield’s far-post header and Mettam saw his effort hooked away from the six-yard box.

So it was no surprise as Spalding drew level. Mettam was fouled by Liam Holt and Beeson beat Pond.

That was the Tulips’ first goal at the Sir Halley Stewart Field since the victory over Market Drayton Town at the start of December.

An own-goal settled the Boxing Day derby against Lincoln United and blanks were fired at home to both Kidsgrove Athletic and Shaw Lane.

Another penalty proved decisive as Beeson made it 2-1 following Michael Williams’ trip on Jordan Lemon.

Jack Langston hit the bar and Mitchell Piggon was sent off for a second yellow card either side of the winner.

SPALDING UNITED

4-4-2: Walton 6; Walker 7, Miller 8, Stainfield 7, Jackson 7; Beeson 7 (sub Lockie 82 mins), Whitehead 7, Varley 7, Lemon 7 (sub Higginson 67 mins, 6); Mettam 7, Wells 7 (sub Barraclough 75 mins). Subs not used: Fleming, Duggan.

CHASETOWN

4-4-2: Pond; Williams, Thompson, Johnson, Holt (sub Weston-Hayles 87 mins); Kiembi (sub Powell 75 mins), Rooney, Langston, Ruff; Wynter, Piggon. Sub not used: Moulton.

REFEREE

Matthew Law.

GOALS

Ruff (28 mins, 0-1); Beeson pen (36 mins, 1-1); Beeson pen (67 mins, 2-1).

SENDING-OFF

Piggon (second bookable offence).

BOOKINGS

Kiembi (foul); Piggon (dissent).

ATTENDANCE

151

STAR MAN

Kern Miller – outstanding return to the heart of the Tulips’ back four alongside the skipper. Made strong challenges, won aerial battles and cut out mistakes.

ENTERTAINMENT

★★★

WHO’S NEXT

AFC Rushden & Diamonds (A) – Integro League Cup third round, Tuesday.