Tulips look so dynamic

Adam Jackson gets the ball forward

Adam Jackson gets the ball forward

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Evo-Stik League First Division South - Spalding United 2 Loughborough Dynamo 1

The winning run goes on and Spalding United are starting to look unstoppable.

An eighth successive victory in all competitions took the Tulips’ unbeaten league run into double figures stretching back into October.

There is no doubt they deserved a seventh consecutive home win.

Equally, though, it’s fair to say that one key decision went in their favour three minutes before the break.

It might have been a very different story if goalkeeper Michael Duggan had been sent off - and surely he was fortunate to escape with a yellow card.

The start of the second half saw Jack McGovern’s opener cancelled out within 90 seconds but the winner was duly delivered by star man Mitch Griffiths just 12 minutes from full-time.

Griffiths grabbed a double three months ago when Spalding smashed six goals past Loughborough Dynamo.

At that time the Leicestershire side were on top of the table but now the Tulips are more likely to push for promotion.

However, this was not one of their top-class performances and it took them half an hour to get out of first gear.

Matt Langham wasted a golden chance and that was a wake-up call which quickly led to opportunities for Griffiths and Jordan Hempenstall.

Andrew Tidswell - who also netted twice at Loughborough - had three efforts in a four-minute spell.

But the big talking point came when Kieron Davies beat the offside trap and was brought down by Duggan on the edge of the penalty box.

After consultation with an assistant, referee Edward Pidduck gave a free-kick instead of a spot-kick.

Incredibly, though, he only issued a yellow card rather than a red one for denying a goal-scoring opportunity when Davies got a shot on goal.

A minute into the second half Griffiths went past left-back Joe Shaw and delivered a right-wing cross which McGovern bundled in at the far post.

Almost immediately Langham levelled from close range but, following tactical changes to accommodate Lee Clarke’s debut, the Tulips created more chances.

McGovern, substitute Tom Waumsley, Hempenstall and Griffiths all went close to restoring the advantage.

Patience paid off when Griffiths found a way past keeper Damien Clarke and slotted in with a cool and composed finish.

That was enough to secure Spalding’s hard-fought win which means it’s a very happy Christmas.

SPALDING UNITED

4-4-2: Duggan 6; Leary 7, Stevens 7, N Stainfield 7, Jackson 6 (sub Clarke 57 mins, 6); Griffiths 8, McGovern 7, Hall 7, J Thurlbourne 7; Hempenstall 7, Tidswell 6 (sub Waumsley 60 mins, 6). Subs not used: L Thurlbourne, Oliver, Pycock.

LOUGHBOROUGH DYNAMO

4-3-2-1: Clarke; Green, Attenborough, Pheasant (sub Kavayi 81 mins), Shaw; Davies, Thorpe, Wood; Langham, Kennedy (sub Brown 84 mins); Thomas. Subs not used: Wingfield-Brown, Morris, Bowles.

REFEREE

Edward Pidduck.

GOALS

McGovern (46 mins, 1-0); Langham (47 mins, 1-1); Griffiths (78 mins, 2-1).

BOOKINGS

Hempenstall (dissent); Duggan, Wood, Green (fouls).

ATTENDANCE

143.

STAR MAN

Mitch Griffiths - an assist and the winner adds up to a good effort which saw him pose a threat from start to finish.

WHO’S NEXT

Lincoln United (A) - Boxing Day.