SPALDING UNITED 0 TIVIDALE 3 (Jukes 21, Russell 34, Hill 75): ANY hopes Spalding had of winning silverware this season are now over after this FA Vase beating on Saturday.
Goals from Matt Jukes, Chris Russell and Adam Hill sent the Tulips crashing out in round two at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
To make matters worse, star striker Simon Mowbray limped off with a potentially worrying Achilles problem inside 15 minutes.
But don’t try telling Andy Stanhope that their season is over already. Although his side are now in the bottom nine of the UCL Premier Division, the Spalding boss insists there is still plenty to play for.
He said: “Our season is far from over. We need to keep building on and off the pitch, there’s still plenty to look forward to. Obviously results aren’t going our way at the moment and the lads are lacking a bit in confidence.
“Losing Mowbray was a big blow. We looked dangerous when he was on the field and I think we’d have got a result if he had stayed on.
“I’m disappointed we’ve lost, but it wasn’t a 3-0 game. We had lots of chances but just didn’t take them, while they were pretty clinical.”
With £1,200 of Football Association cash up for grabs, the Tulips were found wanting.
On the day West Midands visitors Tividale were the better side – but Spalding had their chances to salvage some pride.
Jammal Shahin, returning from exile to play his first game since October 8 , was denied by the woodwork, while keeper Tim Beech made two notable saves and strike duo Greg Smith and Ben Good both saw four chances go begging between them.
However, two errors from defender Callum Earls cost Stanhope’s men dear as they fell 2-0 down at the break.
First Jukes was afforded a free near-post header to open the scoring, before Chris Russell buried the second.
Spalding had their chances to get back into the game, but Adam Hill secured Tividale’s passage with a spectacular 18 yard strike 15 minutes from time.
One plus point for the Tulips was the performance of on-loan Corby Town midfielder Troy Farden. Stanhope expects him to be a big player for his side when he gets fit.
Keeper Tom Roberts has also signed on with Spalding as cover for Nick Conroy.
Tulips: Conroy, Duncliffe (Harris 76), Earls, Thompson, Fuff, Ashton, Shahin, Farden, Smith, Mowbray (Good 15), O’Loughlin. Not used: Lyon, Hussey.
• Saturday: Tulips v S & L Corby (3pm).