FOOTBALL: Kern’s key role to help youngsters
Spalding United manager Chris Rawlinson called on the experience of Kern Miller to drag his side through to the end of the season.
The Tulips lost 3-1 to Loughborough Dynamo on Saturday at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field - but one of the few positives to come from the defeat was the performance of Miller at the heart of the defence.
Rawlinson said: “Kern is a big character and a very strong man, that is why he is here.
“We missed that earlier in the season, hopefully it will run off onto some of the younger lads.
“Ellis Humble is 21, Jenk Acar is 20 and Jack Fixter, James Hugo, Luke White and Jonny Lockie are only 18. We are clearly a young side. We need experience to drive us through.
“As a squad we are still fairly new and young, and we have done great since Christmas.”
Miller, who saw a header cleared off the line with the score level at 0-0, performed admirably in a defence that just 20 minutes into the game had to reshuffle because of right wing-back Conor Marshall’s injury.
Along with captain Neal Spafford, Fixter and Marshall’s replacement Humble in defence, Miller restricted Dynamo to few chances as they employed a long-ball game because of the condition of the pitch.
At the other end, he was a constant menace to the visiting defence from Matt Varley’s long throw-ins.
In the final 10 minutes, his flick-on flew across the front of Charlie Taylor’s Loughborough goal begging to be tapped in.
We will not get too high after a win, like last week, and we will not get too low after a defeat like this either.
In added-time, though, he earned an assist as Spalding scored via Danny Brooks’ goal which should give the Tulips some much-needed confidence ahead of the trip to Peterborough Sports on Monday.
Rawlinson added: “We are not a top-of-the-table side - we will win some, we will lose some.
“We will not get too high after a win, like last week, and we will not get too low after a defeat like this either.
“For the last 20 minutes we were definitely on top and had some good pressure, this kind of result can happen.”