Relegated Spalding face cup ordeal against higher opposition Scunthorpe

Spalding flanker Liam Richardson will need to inspire his team-mates in their Lincs Senior Cup tie at Scunthorpe on Saturday.  Photo by  Adrian Smith.
Spalding flanker Liam Richardson will need to inspire his team-mates in their Lincs Senior Cup tie at Scunthorpe on Saturday. Photo by Adrian Smith.
  • Tough assignment in cup for Town at National League 3 Midlands opponents

Relegated Spalding should expect no sympathy when they travel to National League Three Midlands side Scunthorpe in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup on Saturday.

That’s the view of Town coach Ben Williams after his side’s return to Midlands Two East (North) was confirmed with a 43-5 loss to Old Northamptonians at last weekend.

We’re going up there as underdogs and we’ve nothing to lose

Spalding will be without flanker Ed Duerden, hooker Jimmy Rowlands, injured inside centre Sion Williams and outside centre Tom Gosling who severed a nerve in his hand during Saturday’s home defeat.

Williams said: “Scunthorpe are mid-table so the only thing they have to go for is the Lincs Senior Cup.

“We’re going up there as underdogs so we’ve got nothing to lose and we’ll be going out to take it to Scunthorpe.”

It was always going to be a tough task for Spalding to stay in Midlands One East after their damaging opening day defeat to fellow promoted side Belgrave last September.

But it’s been downhill ever since, with the departures of coaches Andy McMahon, Richard Mardling and captain Harry Sharman.

“We’re building on a small, basic game plan and every week we seem to get improvements,” Williams said.

“It was a shame that against Newark, they had an England Counties winger and then we came up against the second team in the league (Old Northamptonians).

“We went out to take it to them and we weren’t going to sit back and let them take the mickey out of us.

“But, yet again, if you take away four of the tries Old Northamptonians scored that were silly ones to give away on our part, it looks as if we competed and their coach shook my hand after the game, saying ‘what an amazing game of rugby and I can’t believe you’re down”.

“We’re improving, making progress and we just want to build for next season.”

Spalding’s record in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup is pretty impressive with seven wins in a 15-year spell between 1995 and 2010.

But captain Ryan Chappell said: “It’s going to be another step up for us and a very tough afternoon at Scunthorpe.

“It depends what sort of side they’ll field, but their firsts have nothing to play for so I’d suggest that they’ll put out a strong side.

“But we’ve got nothing to lose and we’ll give a good account of ourselves.”