Rayment keen to stop ‘mini crisis’

Jordan Nuttell
Jordan Nuttell
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Manager Pat Rayment vowed to cut short a ‘mini crisis’ at Spalding United.

The Tulips suffered a third successive defeat on Saturday as Mickleover Sports ran out 2-1 winners.

Jamie Stevens headed in after 31 seconds but veteran striker Gary Ricketts levelled and a 20-yard special by Andy Dales made the difference.

Rayment admitted: “That was not good enough.

“The better side won on the day – they were far stronger and quicker with a bit more about them.

“Yet we couldn’t have asked for a better start.

“We know we are light up front and that is something we are endeavouring to rectify.

“All our training is based on keeping the ball, passing and moving.

“We have watched Sports twice this season so we know they are all about knocking the ball around quickly.

“We’ve got the same players who went on a 15-match unbeaten league run.

“But I think some of them have taken the foot off the pedal. They have run out of steam and they need impetus.

“Now this is a challenging period for myself and Marcus Ebdon.

“The bottom line is that we are not playing well. We are not going to hide behind anything.

“Every game is important but the performance levels mean we are not playing well enough at the moment.

“Maybe the players were expecting the run to carry on but if you drop your levels then those results don’t just automatically come back.

“But we will get it right. We are working hard to find a presence up front.

“This is a mini crisis with back-to-back league defeats. It has happened to Mickleover, Leek and everyone else but we are not used to it.”

Rayment was called onto the pitch after six minutes of Saturday’s game to speak to referee Christopher Akers after accusing him of “having a shocker”.

The Tulips boss said: “I thought the officials were diabolical for both sides.

“I’m led to believe that the equaliser should have been ruled out for offside.”

Rayment confirmed that youngster Jordan Nuttell was taken off for tactical reasons as Spalding looked to match Mickleover’s system.

Rayment added: “On the day our players didn’t win enough individual battles.”

Striker Andrew Tidswell was not in Spalding’s squad as he continues to discuss the possibility of a return to Holbeach United.

Jordan Hempenstall is set to be ruled out for at least four more weeks with a knee injury.

Jack McGovern should be back for the Doodson Sport Cup quarter-final at Ilkeston on Tuesday night but defender Nathan Stainfield’s knee complaint will be rested.