Spalding United leave it late for away win

Spalding United
Spalding United
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Newcastle Town 0 Spalding United 1
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Neal Spafford was the hero of the day with a last-minute goal to earn Spalding United’s first win in nine games.

The Tulips had drawn five and lost three since a 4-0 home win over Goole at the end of February.

And they had gone 12 away games without a win following the 3-0 victory at Leek Town last November.

Saturday’s final away game of the season at Newcastle Town looked destined for a goalless stalemate until Spafford’s late strike.

The home goal area was packed with players for Dan Lawlor’s corner kick.

The ball twice caught the woodwork before Spafford headed firmly home via the far post to set up the celebrations.

But the game was far from over as it went into stoppage-time with the hosts piling on the pressure until the Tulips’ defensive qualities won the day.

At times the game, keenly contested throughout, had appeared as it was – a typical end-of-season affair between two evenly matches sides.

But there was no shortage of some quality football.

The game was also enhanced by a team of match officials who contributed greatly.

Play throughout was from end to end.

Spalding keeper Michael Duggan twice denied the hosts in the early stages with saves from Neville Thompson and Harry Clayton.

At the other end Dave Parton saved well from Sam Murphy.

The home keeper was also equal to Dan Banister’s chip midway through the first half and five minutes before the 
interval he did well to keep out Tom Waumsley’s firm strike.

There was much of the same in the second half with both keepers fully involved.

Tulips’ skipper Nathan Stainfield (nominated man-of-the-match by referee Alan Clayton) saw his shot deflected for a corner and Lawlor’s kick was confidently dealt with by Parton.

Duggan again saved well from Thompson and James Garlic as the stalemate continued.

But with the clock showing 89 minutes Spafford out-jumped the pack to secure the points for the Tulips.

Spalding: Duggan, Walker, Jackson, Spafford, Stainfield, Murphy, Banister, Lawlor, Eason (sub Sanders 71 mins), Waumsley, Curtis. Subs not used: Lockie, Kadar, Butland, Talbot.

Spalding’s annual awards will be presented after the final game of the season against Leek Town in the Tulips Social Club. Saturday’s event is open to everyone (no charge) from around 8pm and refreshments will be served.