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FOOTBALL: Another away defeat for Spalding United

Jake Lovatt scores the opener
Jake Lovatt scores the opener

A fully-committed display was not enough to earn any points for Spalding United in a hard-fought encounter in Staffordshire.

The Scholars Ground has never been a happy hunting ground for the Tulips over recent years.

This record continued on Saturday with promotion-seeking Chasetown, currently holding sixth place, breaking the deadlock just a minute into the second period and then putting the game out of the plucky Tulips’ reach 10 minutes from full-time.

The first half was a bit scrappy with few goal-scoring opportunities for either team.

The best efforts came from the home team but shots from Jack Langston and Jake Lovatt were competently dealt with by teenager Michael Antkowiak, covering for Michael Duggan who was unavailable.

The Tulips were closer, though, with Matt Varley’s header from Jenk Acar’s corner just inches over Curtis Pond’s crossbar.

A mistake by Michael Antkowiak led to the second goal
A mistake by Michael Antkowiak led to the second goal

The keeper also raced well out of his area to deny Tom Siddons a touch of the ball in a one-on-one situation.

Paul Walker produced a strong down the right wing and whipped the ball into a crowded area but a desperate defence ruled the day.

However, the Tulips were caught on the hop at the start of the second period by Danny Cocks who twisted and turned on the edge of the area before Lovatt poked the ball past Antkowiak.

The Tulips battled hard to get back on level terms in an engaging contest but clear-cut chances continued to be scarce.

Man of the match Ellis Humble denied the home team with an excellent interception and clearance while at the other end Pond saved at the feet of substitute Jonny Lockie.

The game was put beyond the Tulips’ reach as the tricky Muzzy Nduna delivered a sucker blow with a curling shot from an acute angle just inside the 18-yard area which Antkowiak misjudged with the ball skidding off his shoulder into the net at the near post.


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