Tulips praised after battling to valuable point

Manager Marcus Ebdon

Manager Marcus Ebdon

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Tulips’ boss Marcus Ebdon praised his team as they kept up their unbeaten start to his reign with a useful point at improving Rugby Town.

Spalding had to cope with driving wind and rain as well as a heavy pitch four days after their hard-fought victory over fellow high-fliers Coalville Town.

And Ebdon was pleased with the effort of his team, who led through Paul Walker’s goal only to be pegged back.

He said: “I was happy with a point because Rugby are not a bad side.

“Our energy levels were not as high as they have been after a tough game on Tuesday and the pitch was not in the best condition.

“And they are a decent side who have come on leaps and bounds in recent weeks.”

The Tulips were hoping for a fifth straight league win at Butlin Road against a side just four places off the bottom in Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division 1 South.

And they were on course for three points when Walker converted Adam Jackson’s cross. But Callum Powell levelled with a shot which proved too hot to handle for keeper Michael Duggan.

“Paul Walker did really well for us - he scored one and could have scored another,” said Ebdon.

“The back four were good and Dan Banister had a decent game in midfield.

“But it was a good team performance from us.”

The next two games will be a big test for United with fifth-placed Market Drayton Town visiting the Sir Halley Stewart Field on Saturday and the Tulips heading to leaders Stafford Rangers the week after.

Mitch Griffiths came off with a tight hamstring at Rugby and is the only injury doubt for the next match.

Ebdon said: “It’s about the performances at the moment rather than the results.

“We’ll be going for two wins in these next games because we always go out to to win.

“But I will be happy with four points from the two matches.”

Ebdon said he was looking to strengthen his squad, adding: “With Christmas coming up and the heavy pitches we’ll need to bring some in.”