Spalding United look to bounce back against Belper

Tom Waumsley tries to win the ball for Spalding United against Stafford Rangers.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Tom Waumsley tries to win the ball for Spalding United against Stafford Rangers. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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The big games continue to come thick and fast for promotion hopefuls Spalding United.

After tasting defeat for the first time this season against Stafford on Saturday, the Tulips host another side expected to be pushing for honours tonight when Belper Town visit the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field (7.45pm).

It was disappointing to lose on Saturday but it’s important that we bounce straight back.

Spalding United boss Pat Rayment

On the clash, Spalding boss Pat Rayment said: “Belper are a very good side and I’m expecting them to be one of about six sides pushing for promotion this season.

“I said last week that the next three games would tell us exactly where we are and I still maintain that.

“It was disappointing to lose on Saturday but it’s important we bounce straight back.

“We’ve started a lot better than we did last season and you’ve got to remember that we are a side still in transition.

“Mickleover and ourselves had the best home records last season and I’d love to emulate that again this time around.

“I think it’s such a competitive league that you could easily lose eight or nine games this season and still make the play-offs, but that’s not a comfort that we want to have.”

On Saturday’s defeat, Rayment said: “We were second best in the first half, but after the break we had some great opportunities but didn’t take them.

“The two goals we conceded were very sloppy. The first one we got opened up by a bit of a punt and for their second goal we just didn’t clear our lines well enough.

“Even after going 2-0 down we had chances, so we’re only talking about fine margins here. We were unfortunate not to come away with something from the game.”

Rayment had no complaints about the late sending-off of Mitch Griffiths, saying: “Mitch knows it wasn’t a good tackle.

“When you leave your leg in like that you’re always asking for a red card. I’ve got no complaints.”

Saturday’s game saw captain Nathan Stainfield return to the side, while Ross Watson also featured after signing from King’s Lynn.

“It was great to have Nathan back,” said Rayment.

“He is the best centre-half in this league and also the level above.

“It’s good to have Ross back too. He just wants to settle down somewhere and know that he is going to play.”