FOOTBALL: ‘What a great chance for us to stop them!’

Chris Rawlinson
Chris Rawlinson
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Witton Albion v Spalding United
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Two away wins in less than 48 hours could send Spalding United into the promotion play-offs.

They face second-placed Witton Albion this evening and then head to Kidsgrove Athletic for another road trip on Saturday.

The Tulips can get closer to booking a top-five finish and third spot would mean a home semi-final.

Boss Chris Rawlinson said: “We’ve had plenty of positive conversations with the squad over the past few days.

“It can feel a bit raw after a defeat but we have to make sure we are up for tonight’s game.

“Midweek defeats for AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Newcastle Town mean there are several clubs grouped together who will probably fight it out among themselves now.

Sam Downey

Sam Downey

“But we are not going to be complacent. We need to do our own job.

“On Tuesday, Witton made four changes and there must be tiredness in the legs from playing every Saturday and midweek.

“It’s a brilliant chance for them to go back on top of the table tonight.

“What a great chance for us to stop them, though! And we know we are capable.

We need to stay solid at the back. But we want to impose ourselves as well. We’re not going up there to keep the score down!

Chris Rawlinson

“We are third in the league so we can go toe-to-toe with Witton and make it a real battle.

“We need to stay solid at the back. But we want to impose ourselves as well. We’re not going up there to keep the score down!

“In the first half of the home game against Witton, we showed a bit too much respect as we were worried about their threats.

“In the second half, we went toe-to-toe with enough pressure to get a goal – even though we didn’t create a huge amount of chances.

“We can’t expect everyone to keep going with two away games in less than 48 hours so there might be some rotation.

“But I won’t make wholesale changes at such a very important stage of the season.

“There is a lot at stake and, if we win both games in this period, we will be nearly there in terms of a play-off place.

“The focus remains on making sure we get one of those places.”

Nathan Whitehead is not available for the next two games.

Sam Downey and Jonny Lockie are back in the squad tonight after missing out last weekend at Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Kern Miller starts a three-match ban on Saturday after his red card in the 2-0 defeat but Neal Spafford or Jason Field are ready to deputise.