MATCH VERDICT: Spalding United are second best to promotion rivals in home defeat

Skipper Nathan Stainfield watches a late chance roll wide. Photos by Tim Wilson
Skipper Nathan Stainfield watches a late chance roll wide. Photos by Tim Wilson
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Spalding United 0 Witton Albion 1
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It’s certainly a day to forget when you have more yellow cards than clear-cut chances.

That was the case for third-placed Spalding United on Saturday in their fifth home defeat of the season.

The Tulips were second best as Witton Albion showed why they are championship contenders rather than play-off hopefuls.

Bradley Bauress produced a rare moment of quality with the only goal of a poor game.

His left-foot volley on 11 minutes made the difference after Spalding switched off at a couple of throw-ins with a lack of concentration.

Soon afterwards, they were lucky as William Jones smashed a shot off the bar.

Bradley Bauress is congratulated on the winning goal

Bradley Bauress is congratulated on the winning goal

Witton’s fifth successive win – taking their unbeaten run to 12 league games in the past two months – was well 
deserved.

They looked sharper and stronger, especially before the break when the visitors were first to every ball.

Quite simply, Spalding couldn’t get going until much later.They never got out of first gear and lacked quality.

Although the Tulips were better in the second half, the reality is that the display could not get any worse.

Mixed emotions at the final whistle

Mixed emotions at the final whistle

They got nowhere near the dominance which Witton had enjoyed for at least an hour.

Ultimately, Spalding were left frustrated when a header by Kern Miller was ruled out in stoppage-time as the ball had gone out of play before Jonny Lockie delivered the right-wing cross.

Overall, though, the Tulips didn’t deserve anything out of a poor performance.

It would have been a bonus point at the end.

Hopefully, this defeat will not prove damaging but it’s all about how Spalding bounce back now.

They still have a nice gap to hold onto a play-off place and third spot would mean a home semi-final.

So there is plenty to play for – but without any doubt, Spalding must do better than this.

It took them 51 minutes to record an attempt on goal and Leon Mettam’s free-kick flew out of the ground!

Nathan Stainfield saw a header comfortably gathered but at the other end, he was perhaps fortunate not to give away a penalty.

The big chance of a late leveller fell to Stainfield 10 yards out but the ball rolled agonisingly wide of the far post.

Miller thought he had grabbed a goal but the flag had been raised by the assistant referee.

With limited options on the bench due to suspensions and a couple of players being unavailable, Tulips boss Chris Rawlinson tried to make some changes and apply pressure.

However, they struggled to break down Witton all day and couldn’t create chances or pose any real threat.

SPALDING UNITED

4-4-2: Duggan 5; Lemon 5, Miller 5, Stainfield 5, Walker 5; Beeson 5, Downey 5 (sub Field 80 mins), Varley 5 (sub Lockie 73 mins), Acar 5; Wells 5, Mettam 5. Subs not used: Butland, Heeley.

WITTON ALBION

4-4-2: Hare; Gardner, Brown, Lycett, Wilson; Tames, Williams, Owens, Bauress (sub Haywood 73 mins); Jones, Hopley. Subs not used: Devine, Omotola, Sloane, Noon.

REFEREE

Andrew Dallison.

GOAL

Bauress (11 mins, 0-1).

BOOKINGS

Lemon, Wells, Brown, Stainfield (fouls); Acar (dissent); Downey, Williams (unsporting behaviour).

ATTENDANCE

181

STAR MAN

Sponsors’ award went to Bradley Wells but nobody deserves credit.

ENTERTAINMENT

★★

WHO’S NEXT

Belper Town (H) – Saturday.