MATCH VERDICT: Three-sy does it for Spalding United

The ball heads towards the top corner as Leon Mettam puts the Tulips ahead. Photos by Tim Wilson
The ball heads towards the top corner as Leon Mettam puts the Tulips ahead. Photos by Tim Wilson
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Spalding United 3 Sheffield 0
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Another win ticked off – five more to go for Spalding United’s play-off target.

It was a case of three-sy does it for boss Chris Rawlinson in his first home game.

Goals by in-form Leon Mettam, top scorer Bradley Wells and substitute Conor Higginson made it pretty 
comfortable for the Tulips.

They have already raced past the points total which left them in mid-table mediocrity at the end of last season.

This time, it’s all about chasing promotion and they remain well on course.

Rawlinson was assistant to Dave Frecklington as Lincoln United finished fifth in the 2015-16 term but 70 points would have been enough to get a play-off place.

Leon Mettam celebrates his seventh goal in four appearances

Leon Mettam celebrates his seventh goal in four appearances

Spalding are getting closer to booking an end-of-season spot as they enter the final 10 games.

With the quality and goal-scoring power of Mettam and Wells, you certainly wouldn’t bet against them.

Mettam took his personal tally to seven goals in four appearances with another stunning strike on Saturday.

In the previous home game, having scored a hat-trick, he was expecting a few weeks out of action due to an ankle injury.

Bradley Wells claimed the final touch to make it 2-0

Bradley Wells claimed the final touch to make it 2-0

Since then, though, he has scored two sensational goals.

The midweek winner for 10-man Spalding was a 20-yard free-kick away to AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

The on-loan striker broke the deadlock against Sheffield with an even better effort.

Mettam brought a loose ball under control on his chest and smacked a right-foot volley into the top corner.

Conor Higginson celebrates scoring just after coming off the bench

Conor Higginson celebrates scoring just after coming off the bench

Mettam had already seen a diving header disallowed for offside and Wells should have doubled the advantage before the break.

But the division’s leading marksman finally got his 20th league goal of the season.

He claimed the last touch on the line following a corner by Lee Beeson which initially appeared to be nodded back towards his own net by Lee Cooksey.

Firstly, Kern Miller was credited with the goal but all the confusion was eventually ended as Wells reached that landmark figure.

Wells also got an assist as Higginson exchanged passes and neatly finished it off, scoring against his former club for the second time this term.

Sheffield substitute Ross Goodwin was dismissed for a wild challenge on Higginson but the result was beyond doubt.

The world’s first club were second best to Spalding who march on towards the target of pushing for promotion.

SPALDING UNITED

4-4-2: Duggan 6; Walker 7, Miller 7, Stainfield 7, Jackson 7; Lemon 7, Beeson 7, Varley 7 (sub Downey 71 mins), Acar 7 (sub Higginson 76 mins); Wells 7, Mettam 7 (sub Lockie 67 mins, 7). Sub not used: Spafford.

SHEFFIELD

4-4-2: Butt; Pursehouse, Cooksey, South, Hanna; Roney (sub Turner 64 mins), Ashmore (sub Magee 71 mins), Lindley, Gregory; Purkiss (sub Goodwin 62 mins), Denton. Subs not used: Royles, Haystead.

REFEREE

Mark Curwood.

GOALS

Mettam (31 mins, 1-0); Wells (54 mins, 2-0); Higginson (77 mins, 3-0).

SENDING-OFF

Goodwin (serious foul play).

BOOKINGS

South (dissent); Varley, Downey (fouls); Miller, Lindley (unsporting behaviour).

ATTENDANCE

143

STAR MAN

Paul Walker – another solid performance at right-back to support the attacks and provide defensive cover as the Tulips kept another clean sheet.

ENTERTAINMENT

★★★

WHO’S NEXT

Leek Town (A) – Tuesday.