‘Our pitch is a disgrace’

TEAM EFFORT: Spalding United collected the First Division South's club of the month award for November before their midweek win over Coalville Town. From left, physio Sam Seal, Evo-Stik League operations manager Alan Allcock, manager Pat Rayment, assistant-manager Marcus Ebdon and director of football Bob Don-Duncan. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG021214-203TW
TEAM EFFORT: Spalding United collected the First Division South's club of the month award for November before their midweek win over Coalville Town. From left, physio Sam Seal, Evo-Stik League operations manager Alan Allcock, manager Pat Rayment, assistant-manager Marcus Ebdon and director of football Bob Don-Duncan. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG021214-203TW

A seventh successive win is Spalding United’s target on Saturday – on a pitch described as a “disgrace” by manager Pat Rayment.

The Tulips take on Romulus at the Sir Halley Stewart Field knowing that another victory would keep them in the Evo-Stik League First Division South’s play-off pack.

Despite their fantastic form, Rayment was still not entirely happy following Tuesday night’s 5-1 success over Coalville Town in the Doodson Sport Cup second round.

He said: “We are asking the boys to play on a pitch which is not fit to host matches.

“It has been over-used and not looked after properly by the council.

“We are playing at a higher standard and asking people to pay money to come and watch us but the pitch is a disgrace.

“It’s an embarrassing situation and I’ve seen rugby pitches look better than that. It’s not conducive to playing football on.

“This is the worst surface I’ve come across in all my time in football.”

A spokesperson for South Holland District Council said: “The pitch has been properly maintained by our staff who will continue to do this.

“However, a high level of use and recent wet weather has resulted in its current state.”

Meanwhile, Rayment confirmed Nathan Stainfield will return to the heart of Spalding’s defence after missing the midweek win.

Before kick-off on Saturday, the teams will combine for a mixed squad photograph to commemorate the centenary of one of the most iconic moments of the First World War – the 1914 Christmas Truce – as part of ‘Football Remembers Week’.