TULIPS: Double blow for Spalding

Eye-catching: Spalding's Andy White takes on two players in the 2-0 loss to Glapwell before suffering an ocular injury and (below) Jon Jones challenges for the ball. Photos by MIKE DAVISON
Eye-catching: Spalding's Andy White takes on two players in the 2-0 loss to Glapwell before suffering an ocular injury and (below) Jon Jones challenges for the ball. Photos by MIKE DAVISON
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Spalding Utd 0 Glapwell 2: STRUGGLING Spalding began 2011 with a double dose of bad news as Ross Miller’s departure was compounded by a New Year’s Day defeat.

Second half goals from Connor Higginson and Ian Holmes secured Glapwell a hard-fought victory at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, but it is the loss of Miller to rivals Sutton Coldfield Town that will hurt Richard Scott’s side the most.

The full back, who has been one of the Tulips’ few star performers in a so far dismal campaign, jumped ship over the festive period.

Miller was absent on Saturday, as Spalding pushed their mid-table opponents to the limit with little reward, writes Ray Tucker.

They were close to going ahead after just five minutes, as Josh Fuller’s cross eluded a well-placed Andrew Tidswell.

At the other end, Jamie Brassington did well to turn the ball past the post after a Chris Timons effort rebounded off the bar.

Spalding refused to back down though, with Callum Earls volleying inches over the bar and Fuller going close.

Higginson had the ball in the Tulips’ net just before the break, but was adjudged to be offside.

However, he made no mistake at the start of the second period, hooking the ball home for a spectacular opener.

Spalding lost the influential White shortly afterwards. He was caught in the eye by an opponent’s thumb and ultimately replaced by David de Oliveira – himself making a return from injury.

Glapwell seized the initiative and mounted some positive attacks, but were regularly thwarted by man-of-the-match Mark Gray and defensive partner Gary Pawson.

Undeterred, Spalding continued to fly forward. Jonathan Jones went close to levelling the scores with a drive from 25 yards and Tidswell forced a good save from James Lindley.

The away keeper also denied de Oliveira with five minutes remaining.

Attempting to force the pace and gain a precious point proved fatal though, as Glapwell delivered a sucker punch in the final minute of the game.

The Derbyshire side took advantage of a slack defence to increase their lead, with Holmes on-hand to tap in from Adam Kimberley’s low cross in the dying seconds.

Spalding stay in the bottom two after suffering their 13th defeat from 20 Evo-Stik League First Division South games this season.

Tulips: Brassington, Evans, Cormack, Tidswell, Pawson, Gray, Fuller (Maydew 75), Jones, Pritchard (Webb 75), White (de Oliveira 58), Earls. Not used: Penny, Flintoft.