Rayment: We have the quality to hit back

Adam Jackson
Adam Jackson
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Pat Rayment has “cause for concern” after four successive defeats – but the Spalding United boss is still feeling confident over a return to top form.

Over a three-week spell the Tulips have been knocked out of two cup competitions and dropped outside the play-off pack.

However, Rayment insists they have enough quality to bounce back – starting with Saturday’s home game against Evo-Stik League First Division South leaders Sutton Coldfield Town.

He said: “There is some cause for concern from losing games – although they could have gone either way.

“But I believe there is too much ability and experience in the team to let that run go on.

“We will get back together and look forward to playing Sutton Coldfield who have been around the top of the table all season.

“They are still up there with a very experienced boss (Neil Tooth) who knows this league inside out.

“It doesn’t get any easier but I’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and putting things right as soon as we can.”

Spalding have slipped to seventh place but they have seven games in hand on Sutton Coldfield to overturn the 14-point gap.

They lost 2-0 to the Royals on the opening day of the season in August.

This weekend Spalding must cope without left-back Adam Jackson and keeper Michael Duggan.

Jackson starts a three-match suspension while Duggan could be ruled out for two weeks with badly bruised ribs.

Rayment said: “It’s a big blow for us and Adam because he has played in every game so far this season on merit and he has arguably been our most consistent performer by proving a lot of doubters wrong.”

Spalding have signed young shot-stopper Sam Donkin from Corby Town to deputise for Duggan.

Jamie Thurlbourne is set to drop into defence where the Tulips also await a fitness check on centre-half Nathan Stainfield due to a knee injury.

On Tuesday night they had a penalty shoot-out defeat at Ilkeston in the Doodson Sport Cup quarter-final following a 2-2 draw which saw Spalding take the lead twice through Michael Leary and Mitch Griffiths.

Rayment reflected: “We would have won the game if it hadn’t been for two individual mistakes.

“It was a culture shock to play on such a good pitch and I was happy with the work-rate and performance.

“We gave away a penalty just before half-time and then another error let them back into it after we deservedly went 2-1 up.

“I’ve never won a penalty shoot-out as Spalding manager so I knew what would happen in the end!”