Evo-Stik League First Division South - Sheffield 2 Spalding United 2
Spalding United surrendered a two-goal lead to the world’s oldest football club on Tuesday but at least came home with their unbeaten start to the season still intact and the single point gained taking them into second position in the First Division South.
The Tulips, having played some super football in the opening half, were looking good for a maximum haul until the final 12 minutes when the home team struck twice to cancel the visitors’ advantage which had come from Josh Moreman and debutant Charley Sanders.
On a perfect playing surface,the Tulips took early control with some excellent passing football from back to front, creating scoring opportunities almost at will which brought praise from home fans.
Paul Walker was only fractions away from opening the scoring on 12 minutes with a sizzling header from Dan Lawlor’s corner which whizzed inches over the bar.
The deserved lead arrived on 20 minutes with Moreman despatching a 20-yard free-kick hard and low beyond the despairing hands of the spreadeagled Conor Mitchell.
Shortly afterwards Sam Murphy was just inches off target following a speedy break.
Sheffield , however, were always posing a danger with some quick breaks of their own and were only denied an equalising goal minutes from the break by a telling tackle in the area by Jordan Nuttell after Benny Igi-Ehon had brushed aside Neal Spafford.
Boss Pat Rayment made two changes with Sanders and Will Rawdon replacing the injured Michael Frew and Jack Barlow.
Sheffield stepped up their game, taking advantage in the Tulips’ loss of tempo and style.
Two good headed chances from crosses were missed and Jacques Joblon was denied by Michael Duggan.
However, Sanders was settling in well and posing a few problems for the home defence. And he stretched the Tulips’ lead on 70 minutes with a strike which would be worthy of winning any goal-of- the-month competitions.
Linking well with Rawdon down the left side, he turned his marker superbly and smashed the ball into the net with some venom.
Sheffield missed three more glorious opportunities but finally got some reward from the penalty spot in the 78th minute following a totally unnecessary foul by Spafford. Substitute Matt Roney gave Duggan no chance from the spot.
Then three minutes from full-time the Tulips failed to deal with a lofted corner into the area and Ben Turner bundled the ball into the net.
Spalding: Duggan, Griffiths, Jackson, Walker, Spafford, Nuttell, Barlow (sub Rawdon 55 mins), Murphy (sub Millson 71 mins), Frew (sub Sanders h-t), Lawlor, Moreman. Subs not used: Waumsley, Zuerner.