MATCH VERDICT: Abuse is ‘embarrassing and pathetic’

Matt Melbourne scores the equaliser
Matt Melbourne scores the equaliser
  • Evo-Stik South - Spalding United 1 Gresley 2
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Everyone is entitled to voice an opinion – but Spalding United need support instead of abuse.

‘Embarrassing and pathetic’ was Tulips striker Gary King’s verdict on what he had heard from the main stand at the Sir Halley Stewart Field.

He was spot on, of course, while boss Chris Rawlinson diplomatically described the comments made by fans as ‘not helpful’ but declined to say more on the issue during his post-match interview.

Understandably, chairman Andy Gay was upset over what had been shouted towards the management and players.

Two weeks after making cuts to the budget and calling for financial backing, this was not the right response.

It would be easy to ignore the comments from a small section of the crowd – indeed, it may have been only one or two ‘supporters’ who aired their frustrations.

The call for Rawlinson to ‘sort it out’ – followed by King’s reply that the advice was ‘not helping’ – came even before Gresley’s winner.

But Spalding need more support right now. Instead, they played in front of the lowest attendance for a league game so far this season.

After three successive 2-1 defeats, Spalding lost again by the same scoreline as Gresley recorded their first away win of the campaign.

Matt Melbourne’s double wiped out a first-half goal by King which had put the Tulips in control.

Jamie Jackson blasted a penalty high over the bar but King slotted in Jenk Acar’s pass nine minutes later.

King and Jackson showed a willingness to drop back and support their team-mates as Acar and Lee Beeson provided width while Ben Davison had licence to push forward.

Beeson’s free-kick during first-half stoppage-time was parried by Callum Hawkins.

But five minutes after the break, Ellis Humble’s slip was costly. Melbourne took one touch then smashed a right-foot volley inside the near post.

Beeson came close at the other end and Lucas Harrison cleared off the line when Paul Walker tried to convert from a set-piece.

Keenan King couldn’t quite get a touch on Melbourne’s cross but Gresley grabbed a winner with seven minutes to go.

Melbourne flicked in Jason Law’s left-wing cross to make it a familiar feeling for the Tulips.

Overall, though, Spalding had created enough chances to get three points.

They were punished but ‘a lack of confidence’ around the squad seems like a cliche.

This is not the time for making excuses, even with all the upheaval and uncertainty off the pitch.

The majority of the Tulips’ players have agreed to stay – and they deserve support, not criticism.

SPALDING UNITED

4-4-2: Duggan 6; Fixter 6, Walker 7, Humble 6 (sub Lockie 83 mins), A Jackson 6; Beeson 6, Marshall 6, Davison 6 (sub Millington 77 mins), Acar 6 (sub Neil 70 mins, 6); King 7, J Jackson 6. Subs not used: Smith, Maddison.

GRESLEY

4-3-1-2: Hawkins; Harrison, Barrett, Eggington, Danquah; Morris-Clarke, Manship, Morris; Law (sub Phillips 90 mins); King (sub Dias 77 mins), Melbourne (sub Hill 90 mins).

REFEREE

Kieron Salmons.

GOALS

King (17 mins, 1-0); Melbourne (50 mins, 1-1); Melbourne (83 mins, 1-2).

BOOKINGS

J Jackson, Manship, Davison, Law (fouls).

ATTENDANCE

114

STAR MAN

Gary King – led the line, offered support, put in plenty of effort and got another goal.

ENTERTAINMENT

★★★

WHO’S NEXT

Belper Town (A) – Saturday.