FOOTBALL: Spalding United under-18 girls take away first point

LINING UP: The under-10 girls took part in their first-ever tournament as Spalding United staged a junior event at Priory School on Saturday.
LINING UP: The under-10 girls took part in their first-ever tournament as Spalding United staged a junior event at Priory School on Saturday.
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Spalding United kicked off their campaign in the new Lincolnshire Girls Under-18 League with a 2-2 draw at Long Bennington.

The Tulips made the trip in confident mood and that paid off after only 20 minutes.

A long throw by Robyn Wheeler released Tegan Wheeler behind the home defence and a quick snap-shot was parried for Emily Price to tap into the net.

A spell of pressure from Spalding resulted in a loose ball being picked up by Ellie Hall who threaded a pass through the midfield to put Tegan Wheeler away.

This time Wheeler drew the keeper before squaring the ball for new signing Kate Amess to double the lead.

Soon afterwards Sophie Jameson hit the crossbar with a cracking left-foot effort from the edge of the box.

Ellis Taylor-Williams suffered an ankle injury just before half-time and limped off as Spalding continued to make the keeper work hard.

In a tale of two halves Bennington came out fighting in the second period and, with Robyn Wheeler also having to leave the field, they started to dominate.

Poor tackling allowed Bennington to score quickly as a mistake allowed the striker a clear run in on goal.

Samantha Wetherill in the Tulips’ goal made some heroic saves to keep Spalding in the game but they were forced to share the points.

Team manager Julian Wheeler said: “The girls enjoyed their first proper outing of the season and this game shows how competitive this league will be during the season.

“The girls know they let the game slip in the third quarter and allowed Bennington back in the door.

“We all know that this was two points lost but it has given us plenty to concentrate on in training ready for our next game versus Cleethorpes 
who, based on last year’s league form, seem to be the team to beat.

“But the girls are still smiling and confidence remains high. This has definitely been a wake-up call.”

Saturday’s match (11am kick-off) is being played in Lincoln.