SLEAFORD TOWN 0 SPALDING UNITED 0: A STAND-OUT performance from make-shift right back Josh Ford was the major positive for the Tulips in this bore draw on Tuesday night.
Ford, usually deployed as a striker, stepped up to replace the departing JP Duncliffe at a windswept Eslaforde Park.
UCL Premier Division strugglers Sleaford will be the happier of the two teams, with Spalding unlucky not to snatch a winner through new boy Matt Brady.
Tulips player/coach Danny Hussey admitted the game was a drab spectacle – but was keen to take the positives.
“I’ll be honest, it was an awful spectacle,” said Hussey, who is assisting caretaker boss Bob Don-Duncan. “It was one of those games where the weather was shocking and nobody was going to score – you just want it out of the way.
“We could have won it though, the Sleaford keeper pulled off an absolute world class save to deny Brady in the first half.
“It’s a clean sheet though and that’s not to be sniffed at. We’ve only lost one of the last seven now.
“Josh Ford was superb too. He said he’d played right back before, but to step in and play like that will do him the world of good. He had a great game.”
Although Spalding went into the Lincolnshire derby 21 points and eight places ahead of their hosts, the pair drew 3-3 in the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field reverse back in October.
Sadly, the second meeting of the season failed to live up to that kind of billing.
With gale force winds sweeping across the pitch, entertainment was never going to be at a premium.
Long balls were the order of the day for both sides, with the conditions not conducive for flowing football.
The Tulips had a couple of chances in the first period, with Tom James seeing his early header from the line by Charlie Ward.
Shortly before the interval Brady’s stinging 25 yard effort was superbly saved by Doug Lindberg, with the ball dropping down onto the bar before going over.
At the other end ex-Deeping defender Adam Fenton whistled a shot just a couple of feet wide of Nick Conroy’s goal.
After the break neither keeper had anything to do, with Liam Tunstall’s rising shot from fully 30 yards the closest either side went.
But even that was way wide of Conroy’s post, ensuring both sides walked away with a point from a game they’ll instantly forget.
Spalding’s share of the spoils moved them up one place to tenth in the standings, while Sleaford are now three clear of the drop zone.
Tulips: Conroy, Ford, Earls, Thompson, Fuff, Ashton, Cherry, Brady, Smith, Mowbray, James. Not used: O’Loughlin, Lyon, Hussey, Allen.