Stroll in Shropshire for play-off chasing Spalding

SCRAPPY SECOND: Tom Waumsley forces the ball past Danny Read and Will Whieldon to make it 2-0 to Spalding at Market Drayton Town.  Photo by Terry Morris.
SCRAPPY SECOND: Tom Waumsley forces the ball past Danny Read and Will Whieldon to make it 2-0 to Spalding at Market Drayton Town. Photo by Terry Morris.
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EVO-STIK DIVISION ONE SOUTH: Market Drayton Town 0 Spalding United 4 (Griffiths 5, Waumsley 71, J. Thurlbourne 75, Beckett og 76)

Spalding United took care of business comfortably enough against a Market Drayton Town side who have now lost their last six league games, conceding 24 and scoring just three.

But even the Tulips players detected a mixture of feelings held by this reporter who had spent almost four years reporting in the town as “the man from the Advertiser” (Market Drayton’s weekly newspaper).”

It was one-way traffic from the moment Mitch Griffiths tucked home a right wing cross from the excellent Dan Banister after just five minutes.

Spalding should have been out of sight by the time referee Philip Hardisty blew for half-time, with a Nathan Stainfield header from a Lee Beeson corner cleared off the line after 12 minutes before Griffiths, Beeson himself and Chris Hall all guilty of not working the keeper.

Before the final minute of the first half, Drayton had only one shot on target from their best player Joe Woolley who drove a 20-yard shot over Michael Duggan’s crossbar.

The only danger for the Tulips was complacency and that almost presented the home side with an equaliser when the home side’s lone striker Scott Ryan threaded a ball through Jamie Stevens legs and shot low from 10 yards straight at Duggan.

From the rebound, Ryan had a second bite of the cherry but, just like the first effort, it lacked power, belief and conviction.

The one disappointment for Spalding was the display of striker Avelino Vieira who looked laboured, heavy-legged and behind the play for 45 minutes.

Vieira was replaced by Matty Nolan but, if anything, Spalding became worse in possession as if to give their opponents a glimmer of hope of getting an equaliser.

Ryan was put through on 65 minutes and forced Duggan to save at his left-hand post before the match lost its impetus with both Banister and Drayton left back Mike O’Reilly needing treatment.

A second goal was badly needed to make the game safe for Spalding and, in front of an 80-strong crowd, three came along within five minutes of each other.

First, Waumsley forced a right wing cross from Griffiths over the goal line to make it 2-0 on 71 minutes.

Then within a minute of coming on for Beeson, Jamie Thurlbourne curled a superb 25-yard free kick over the wall and past Drayton keeper Danny Read.

The contest was effectively ended when substitute John Beckett headed a cross from another Spalding substitute, Nathan Adams, into his own net.

Drayton tried to grab a consolation in stoppage time when Ryan was set up, but his shot went over the bar - again.