Rodney’s debut goal earns point after long trip

Nialle Rodney
Nialle Rodney
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Evo-Stik League First Division South - Market Drayton Town 1 Spalding United 1

New signing Nialle Rodney scored a great debut goal to earn a valuable point for Spalding United after a horrendous journey into deepest Staffordshire on Saturday.

The Tulips spent five hours on the road to Market Drayton after being gridlocked on the A1 near Grantham and then having to find a detour route around Stoke-on-Trent due to another road accident.

The First Division South game finally got under way at 3.15pm, and if the journey was not bad enough, the game itself failed to live up to expectations.

But at least a share of the points was a welcome factor against a side that had won their last three league games without conceding a goal.

It may have been an injustice but the Tulips could have won the lion’s share of the points if some of their chances had been taken.

Once again the Tulips defended well with Nathan Stainfield and Neal Spafford dominant, although the pair were caught out by a home attack which resulted in Scott Ryan beating a static Michael Duggan with a well-driven low shot on 13 minutes.

The visitors went on to dominant much of the play but there was little spark up front with some promising build-ups coming to nought, although one promising sequence of passes down the right side ended with a desperate goal-line clearance by Drayton’s Josh Green.

At the other end only the woodwork denied Will Whieldon before the Tulips finally got back on level terms on the stroke of half-time with Rodney neatly applying the finishing touch near the far post following a free-kick and a flicked-on header by skipper Stainfield.

On the hour the normally lethal Josh Moreman hoisted the ball over the home bar and Ross Watson was inches wide of the target with a low drive from 25 yards.

A double substitution brought Tom Waumsley and Charley Sanders into the action at the expense of Rodney and Michael Frew then 10 minutes later Sam Murphy replaced Watson, but the deciding goal that the Tulips sought failed to arrive.

One satisfying factor was that the homeward journey was less traumatic than the outward one two-and-a-half hours earlier.

Spalding: Duggan, Walker, Jackson, Spafford, Stainfield, Millson, Rodney (sub Waumsley 60 mins), Watson (sub Murphy 70 mins), Frew (sub Sanders 60 mins), Banister, Moreman. Sub not used: Lawlor.