Newcastle Town 3 Spalding Utd 1: A MISERABLE outing at unbeaten Newcastle saw Spalding fall four points from Evo-Stik League First Division South safety – and possibly lose Garath Pritchard for the remainder of the season.
The game was as good as over inside 25 minutes, with a Neville Thompson strike and two penalties from Jordan Johnson sinking the Tulips on Saturday.
Andy Penny, who took caretaker charge of the game after Richard Scott’s resignation (see back page), reduced the deficit late on, but it mattered little.
Penny, who also parted company with Spalding after the game, said: “The effect of Richard’s resignation on the players was clear to see in the first half.
“They looked a bit dejected and down, and Newcastle had a bit too much for us, but we regrouped at half-time and came back firing in the second half with a decent performance.”
Spalding’s day was made even worse by losing striker Pritchard to suspected knee ligament damage that could take months to heal.
They also lost Daniel Binns with a pulled hamstring on 23 minutes.
Penny added: “Garath’s first reaction was that it might finish his season.”
New boss Andrew Stanhope now has to lift the Tulips ahead of their must-win game at Shepshed Dynamo tonight.
The Butt Hole Lane side are the only team below Spalding in the standings, but a win would move them level with the Tulips.
Tulips: Brassington, Binns (Westwood), Evans, Jones, Pawson, Crawford, Fuller, de Oliveira, Pritychard (Penny), Webb, White. Not used: Flintoft, Palmer.
Tonight - Shepshed Dynamo v Tulips (7.45pm); Saturday - Tulips v Belper Town (3pm).