FOOTBALL: Stalemate ends Spalding United’s winning run
Spalding United reached a half-century of points this season with a goalless draw on Wednesday night.
The Tulips’ run of five successive away wins was ended at Carlton Town.
Both teams fielded changed line-ups to ease the burden of heavy end-of-season programmes but this certainly did not affect the commitment or desire of either set of players who provided some excellent entertainment.
Boss Chris Rawlinson gave a league debut to under-21 goalkeeper Alex Smith while George Couzens also earned a starting place.
Jenk Acar and Ellis Humble replaced Kern Miller and Jonny Lockie in the second half, Matt Varley and Michael Duggan stayed on the bench while Ben Davison and Conor Marshall were rested.
It was action stations from the outset with play continually from end to end.
Smith, particularly in the second half, was the more active by making a string of excellent saves to end the game with a clean sheet.
Neal Spafford and teenager Scott Floyd both had excellent games in the heart of the defence, holding back Carlton Town’s strikeforce.
In the early minutes, Lockie ran hard to collect Danny Brooks’ deep clearance but failed to beat the advancing Jack Steggles in the home goal.
Shortly afterwards a long throw by James Hugo picked out the advancing Gary King whose firmly-struck volley was deflected for a corner.
King was then back to help out his own defence with a goalline clearance.
Luke White, full of running in the Tulips’ front line, made an excellent run under pressure down the right side and pinged over a good low cross which just eluded King in the home area.
Just before the interval Miller limped out of the game with a knee injury which is feared could rule him out for the remainder of the season.
Acar, having replaced Lockie during the break, was in early action with a typical jinking run and creating an opening for White but Steggles’ outstretched legs denied him a goal.
At the other end, Smith was at full stretch to deny Edouard Schoenecker and within minutes managed to clear his lines with two punched clearances.
The all-out action of the game was sustained and in the end a draw was the fairest result.
Chris Rawlinson’s side are back home on Saturday against Leek Town for the final Evo-Stik South game of the season at the Sir Halley Stewart Field.