PLAY-OFFS: Boss relishing Spalding United’s role as final ‘underdogs’

Post-match celebrations for Spalding United. Photos by Tim Wilson
Post-match celebrations for Spalding United. Photos by Tim Wilson
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South
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Spalding United manager Chris Rawlinson is ready for “a great game” on Saturday.

He admits the Tulips are going to Cheshire as play-off final underdogs against First Division South runners-up Witton Albion.

Rawlinson said: “I’m sure there will be a big crowd and we will be the underdogs, so we’ll see how that affects us.

“We’ll have to take heart from what we did in coming from 2-0 down to draw in the away league game.

“We did well in the second half at home to Witton and matched them.

“This is a one-off, though, and our team spirit has got us a long way all season.

Lee Beeson enjoys his goal with Bradley Wells

Lee Beeson enjoys his goal with Bradley Wells

“It has been a wonderful season and we’ve got every chance of going up now.

“Getting to the final hasn’t really sunk in. But if we show the fight which we had in the semi-final then we can look after ourselves.

“It’s a great game for us to play a side who thought they had a chance of winning the title until the final week of the season.

“Stocksbridge Park Steels are a great side. Joe Lumsden and Harrison Biggins are absolutely top drawer in this league. The spirit of our lads kept them quiet.

It was a great night and, of course, we enjoyed it. But the job is still not done until we get promoted.

Chris Rawlinson

“We had to keep going on Tuesday night through the adversity of having Michael Duggan injured and deciding not to pick a substitute goalkeeper.

“He took a kick on the kidneys and we’re just hoping it will clear up for Saturday.

“There could only be one winner in extra-time because Michael wouldn’t have been able to move for penalties.

“Lee Beeson went off with cramp and Leon Mettam was tired after putting in a real shift.

Chris Rawlinson

Chris Rawlinson

“To be fair, Jonny Lockie has waited for his chance and he deserved it. He’s going to be a great player.

“I thought our all-round play was very good because we dealt with their threats.

“They scored a couple of goals – but they didn’t put us under a lot of pressure.

“It was a great night and, of course, we enjoyed it. But the job is still not done until we get promoted.”