Quorn 3 Spalding Utd 0: ANDY Stanhope has admitted that the Tulips will need a helping hand if they are to stay in Evo-Stik League First Division South.
Spalding were soundly beaten by Quorn on Tuesday night to leave the strugglers 12 points from safety, with just eight games to go.
Goals from Sam Buckingham (45), Shawn Richards (76) and Russell Peel (87) accounted for the Tulips, who were hit by a spree of player withdrawals before the Leicestershire clash.
And Stanhope (pictured) is now aiming to finish above 21st-placed Shepshed Dynamo, who are just three points above the Tulips, and hope for some kind of reprieve.
He said: “I thought we were always in the game, but losing half of the team before the game isn’t helpful.
“We shipped some sloppy goals and made plenty of errors though. That’s why we’re down at the bottom.
“Shepshed have just lost their manager and we can realistically finish above them.
“If we can finish off the bottom you never know what might happen at the end of the season, it all depends on what teams are promoted or leaving the league.
“You always have to expect the unexpected at this level.”
Despite the withdrawals, Josh Nodder, was inches away from giving the Tulips a fourth-minute lead with a rasping 25-yard drive.
Spalding almost got to half time at 0-0, but Buckingham capitalised on some poor defending to poke home the opener seconds before the interval.
It was end-to-end stuff in the second period, but blockbuster strikes from Richards and Peel late on sentenced the basement boys to their 25th defeat of the season.
It’s now just two points from 18 away games this season for Spalding, who have yet to win on the road.
Tulips: Thackery, Chapple, Lyon, Baker, Pawson, Holding, Self, Thompson, Outram, Carruthers, Nodder. Not used: Brewer, Goosey, Denham.
• NATHAN Iley could be available for Saturday’s home clash with second-placed Kidsgrove Athletic (3pm).
The visitors are 46 points ahead of Spalding in the table - and could send the Tulips’ goals against column into triple figures with three goals at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
Stanhope’s charges have shipped a startling 97 goals from their 34 games in the league this season.
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