MATCH VERDICT: Creative spark missing for Spalding United

Spalding United
Spalding United
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Spalding United 0 Gresley 3
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Man-of-the-match awards should not be handed out on days like these.

A shake of the head showed the disbelief from Spalding United skipper Nathan Stainfield when he was named as the sponsors’ star man.

The central defender must have known he didn’t really deserve an honour.

Nobody in a blue shirt should get any credit after such an average display all over the pitch.

It wasn’t particularly poor but the Tulips must do much better to end this run which is now four successive defeats.

They couldn’t manage a single shot until the opening minute of the second half.

A creative spark is badly missing at the moment and the management team need to add some quality to stay in the play-off pack.

Stoppage-time dragged on for nearly nine minutes but there was a feeling that we could have stayed all night and Spalding still wouldn’t have scored.

Substitute Tom Waumsley somehow glanced a far-post header wide to wrap up a bad day for the Tulips.

Paul Walker had the only attempt on target, another chance was deflected before being tipped over the bar, Ethan Lee’s tap-in was ruled out for offside and Adam Jackson’s shot was too high.

Jamie Graham could have been sent off for throwing the ball towards Liam Holt’s head in retaliation for a foul.

Gresley player-manager Gary Ricketts should have got a second yellow card for a late challenge which forced Neal Spafford to get treatment.

But the damage had been done by Ricketts who calmly slotted in a penalty after he was tripped by Spafford.

Rickett’s header took a deflection to make it 3-0 and seal relegation-threatened Gresley’s seventh away win of the season.

The advantage had been doubled when Jordan Ball finished off a counter-attack from Spalding’s corner.

The Derbyshire side came into the game as the lowest scorers in the league but an impressive home record for Spalding in 2015 ended with a dismal performance.

SPALDING UNITED

4-4-2: Duggan 6; Humble 6, Spafford 6 (sub Sanders 89 mins), Stainfield 6, Jackson 6; Walker 6, Banister 6, Lawlor 6, Lee 6; Lucan 6 (sub Waumsley 62 mins, 5), Graham 5. Subs not used: Fife, Farrell, Hussey.

GRESLEY

4-4-2: Peet; Roome, Carlisle, Guy, Harrison; Smyth, Langston, Holt, King (sub Barrett 62 mins); Ball, Ricketts (sub Green 90 mins). Sub not used: Lansdowne.

REFEREE

Sean Feerick.

GOALS

Ricketts pen (33 mins, 0-1); Ball (56 mins, 0-2); Ricketts (81 mins, 0-3).

BOOKINGS

Ricketts, Holt, Lee (fouls); Graham (retaliation).

ATTENDANCE

146

STAR MAN

Not applicable.

WHO’S NEXT

Stocksbridge Park Steels (A) – Saturday.