VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Spalding United slip up again at home

Bradley Wells makes it 2-1 at the start of the second half. Photos: TIM WILSON
Bradley Wells makes it 2-1 at the start of the second half. Photos: TIM WILSON
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Spalding United 2 Stocksbridge Park Steels 3
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Without the services of talismatic skipper Nathan Stainfield, Spalding United slipped to their third home defeat of the season.

The defender tweaked his neck in the midweek Integro League Cup clash at Carlton Town which the Tulips won 5-2 with Stainfield getting a second-half brace.

He experienced some discomfort during training and was still experiencing pain on Saturday.

Despite some treatment by physio Richard Lavery, he was not considered fit enough to take any part in the game.

As a result his dominance in the heart of the Tulips defence was sorely missed.

To compound matters Charlie Gatter suffered a broken nose at Carlton and played against Stocksbridge Park Steels with a facial plastic shield.

Before the game a moment of silence was observed to the memory of United Counties League registration director and press officer Jeremy Biggs who died last week, aged 55.

During his 30-plus years involvement in non-League football, he built up a wealth of knowledge which he was always ready to pass on to anyone who asked.

He made a habit of visiting every ground in the UCL each season. He will be greatly missed by many.

Despite the shuffling of players to fill the void created by Stainfield, the Tulips enjoyed a good opening 15 minutes with promising inter-passing play without troubling keeper David Reay.

Jack Wightwick on the attack

Jack Wightwick on the attack

However, once settled Stocksbridge began to pull the majority of strings and Joe Lumsden tested the resolve of Michael Duggan in the home goal.

The Tulips breezed in and out of the game with stand-in captain Bradley Wells working hard for a breakthrough.

On one mazy run he was brought down just outside the visitors area but Jack Wightwick’s free-kick was comfortably cleared.

Midway through the first half a flowing move saw the ball pinged around the area before Jenk Acar hit the ball over the bar.

Michael Duggan is beaten for the opening goal

Michael Duggan is beaten for the opening goal

But the 28th minute saw Stocksbridge take the lead. The Tulips failed to deal with a long throw into their area and Harrison Biggins gave Duggan no chance with a well-struck volley from 18 yards.

This was the signal for the visitors to stamp more authority on the game and two minutes before the interval they exploited another defensive lapse with Adam Hinchcliffe afforded a simple tap-in.

Spalding had an explosive start to the second half with a goal inside the first minute.

Breaking straight from the re-start Wells was faced with a 50/50 situation with Reay but coolly chipped the ball over the keeper’s head from the six-yard line to reduce arrears.

Wightwick missed a golden opportunity to level the scores when steering his close-range shot wide of the target then Sam Downey was just beaten to Acar’s deft cross by Reay.

The Tulips’ battle for parity took another blow on 68 minutes when Lumsden pounced on another error.

Spalding mounted a late rally but it was not until the second minute of added time that substitute Chris Hamilton arrived at the far post to make certain than Wells’ goal-bound header went into the net.

SPALDING UNITED

Duggan, Lemon, Field, Varley, Walker, Gatter, Griffiths (sub Hamilton 72 mins), Downey, Wells, Wightwick (sub Lockie 64 mins), Acar. Sub not used: Fleming.

STAR MAN

Jordan Lemon (sponsored by The Two Old Boys).

ATTENDANCE

112