FOOTBALL: Derby defeat for Spalding United on final day
There was no winning finish to Spalding United’s season but plenty of all-out action at The Sun Hat Villas Stadium on Saturday with the game ultimately decided nine minutes from full-time.
Unfortunately, Lincoln United’s plans for a memorable day to mark the Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary celebration were hampered by the adverse weather conditions.
Low lying cloud prevented the parachute display and the stormy conditions put paid to the marching band during the interval.
However, with high ranking officers and lower ranks in attendance, the RAF Baton was paraded through a guard of honour before kick-off.
So all was not lost and the crowd, in excess of just over 200, were entertained by a closely-contested derby.
The Tulips, forced into fielding a team of mixed age groups due to injuries and non-availability of players, put in a very commendable performance, full of endeavour and eagerness. .
However, a well despatched header from a corner by Phil Watt in the 81st minute dashed their hopes.
Spalding were first to feature in attack with Jack Fixter forcing a good save from Michael Emery in the fourth minute following a good run and cross by Jenk Acar.
At the other end, Michael Duggan pulled off three excellent saves in the space of five minutes to deny the Whites before young Lincoln City loanee James Hugo hooked Matt Cotton’s effort in a packed area from the line.
But the Tulips survived the home onslaught with the defence working hard and efficiently as a unit.
Shortly before the interval, only a spectacular save at full stretch by Emery denied one of the Tulips’ up and coming young stars Marcel Chipamaunga.
The second half followed much a similar pattern with play continually from end to end and goalmouths under siege. Former Lincoln player Danny Brooks was just inches away from putting the Tulips in front on 47 minutes, his firmly struck free-kick from 30 yards out being deflected inches over the bar.
A draw looked to be the most likely outcome but the Tulips’ hopes were dashed by Watt’s classy late header.