TULIPS: Ricky spot-on to salvage point for Spalding

DESBOROUGH TOWN 3 (Kitching 57, Mitchell 80, Mills 82) SPALDING UNITED 3 (Porter 19, Miller 66 & pen 90): RICKY Miller rescued a point for the Tulips as the UCL Premier Division’s basement boys almost left them red faced.

All looked to be going to plan for Spalding on Saturday, with Ben Porter and then Miller twice handing them the lead.

But sloppy defending allowed Desborough in twice in as many minutes to put them on the brink of just a fourth win of the season, before Miller saved the day with an injury-time penalty.

Boss Pat Rayment was again critical of the Tulips’ defending, but was relieved to grab a point.

He said: “We were very much on top for most of the game, but our Achilles heel of poor defending cost us.

“The errors we made at the back were so, so basic. We’re so naive at times, but that’s what comes with having a young team.

“No disrespect to Desborough, but they’ve not had to do much to score against us, it’s as simple as that really.

“We’ve now scored seven goals in three away games since I came here, but have taken just two points. That says it all.”

The first half went smoothly for Spalding, with ex-Peterborough Northern Star ace Porter firing in his first goal for the club on 19 minutes.

Dan Kitching levelled for Ar Tarn just before the hour, but Miller’s first of the afternoon nine minutes later looked to have settled any nerves.

That was until the closing stages, when the Tulips pressed the self-destruct button once again.

First, Jon Mitchell hauled the lowly hosts level ten minutes from time, with Eddie Mills then putting Desborough on the brink of only a second win in 2012.

Miller saved Spalding’s blushes though, converting his fourth goal in three games to net the fourth point of Rayment’s five-game reign.

The Spalding boss is hopeful of adding Lincoln United’s Liam Bull to his squad ahead of Saturday’s visit of Boston Town (3pm). A seven-day notice of approach has already gone in for the midfielder.

But Ryan O’Loughlin has left – with Rayment’s blessing – to join higher-graded Brigg Town.

With just six UCL Premier Division games to go, Spalding now face a real battle to finish in the top ten.

Tulips: Conroy, Ford, Lyon, Bolland, Fuff, Ashton, Wright, Porter, Smith, Miller, James.

• Saturday: Tulips v Boston Town (3pm).