Chasetown 1 Spalding United 1
Spalding United extended their unbeaten run to five games with an excellent result to share the points with a Chasetown side that had taken all three points at the Sir Halley Stewart Field in mid-August.
It was a game of the preverbal two halves with the home team having the edge in the first period and gaining a 38th-minute lead through the dominant Lee Butler, but with the Tulips taking the reins after the break with a more dominant display, writes Ray Tucker.
Leading scorer Andrew Tidswell scored the all-important equalising goal on 58 minutes with a dynamic far-post header and from then on the Tulips looked the more likely to steal the extra two points. On reflection, however, a draw was possibly the right result.
The opening 30 minutes were virtually void of goalmouth activity with both goalkeepers having just a single worthwhile shot to save and both were carried out comfortably.
Tulips number one Michael Duggan collected Lee Parsons’ 15th-minute effort with comparative ease inside a top angle, while his counterpart John Bateman dropped to his knees to collect Mitch Griffith’ low drive ten minutes later.
The Tulips’ best effort so far came on 35 minutes with a surging left-side break, but Griffiths fired Jamie Thurlbourne’s cross over the bar from close in.
Shortly afterwards both man-of-the-match Lewis Webb and Ryan Oliver, who had taken the number nine shirt ahead of Tom Waumsley suffering with a heavy cold, were denied in a packed area.
Always dangerous on the break, Chasetown broke the deadlock on 38 minutes with a 20-yard free-kick, conceded by Kern Miller and converted by Butler.
The Tulips took a more authorative grip on the game after the break, playing with real conviction and putting numerous passing sequences together to put pressure on the home defence.
One such break came in the 50th minute with Leary, Thurlbourne and Webb combining well and bringing Adam Jackson into the equation to ping a great cross into the area. Unfortunately Oliver arrived fractions of a second too late to make the final connection.
Within minutes Oliver was denied by stretched legs just short of the line and Thurlbourne’s delivery from the right flashed over the goal, just missing the far post.
The promised equalising goal followed on 58 minutes with Tidswell homing in on Jackson’s astute cross to beat Bateman with a close-range header.
Only the woodwork denied the Tulips and Nathan Stainfield in the 65th minute and Miller’s follow-up effort ricoched from a defender’s legs inches from the line for a corner.
Waumsley was through on goal for a one-on-one situation with Bateman but rushed his shot and the chance to go ahead was lost.
Spalding: Duggan, Leary, Jackson, Miller, N Stainfield, Webb, Griffiths (G Stainfield 80 mins), Hall, Tidswell, Oliver (Waumsley 59 mins), J Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): Nuttell, McKue, Pycock.