Tulips stay in control

Tom Waumsley keeps his eyes on the ball. Photo: Adrian Smith
Tom Waumsley keeps his eyes on the ball. Photo: Adrian Smith
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Spalding United enter the final week of the season knowing they remain in control of their destiny.

Two away wins would secure the Tulips’ place in the Evo-Stik League First Division South play-offs.

But they are taking on two in-form teams with Tuesday night’s trip to Tividale being followed by a date with Romulus on Saturday.

Spalding slipped to fifth spot - two points behind Sutton Coldfield Town who have one game remaining - following the 1-1 draw at home to Stocksbridge Park Steels.

They stayed in the play-off pack on goal-difference ahead of Gresley who conceded a controversial late equaliser against Tividale.

Tulips boss Pat Rayment said: “That’s the second successive game where we have been done by a set-piece and gone 1-0 down.

“So I suppose we could have won 1-0 each time but at least we are still in control of our own destiny.

“We always knew we had to win two out of three and we’ve got one point towards that target of six.

“We have to concentrate and defend better, though. I don’t see the opposition gifting us goals like that through individual mistakes.

“There is a major decision over how we will play but we’ve got to be careful as well.

“We have still got one of the best defensive records but in the last two games we’ve had to come from behind.”

Matty Nolan’s late leveller rescued a point for Spalding on Saturday.

Rayment admitted: “It was a horrible game of football and, yes, we got out of jail in the end.

“I don’t think either goalkeeper had a save to make but I was a bit disappointed again that the opposition only tried to ‘shut up shop’ when they had nothing to play for.

“There are ways of winning games and I’ve got a style which I will stick with.

“We worked hard but we didn’t do enough up front to hold the ball up.

“All the games around now are going to be like this and set-pieces are so important.”

Rayment revealed the “enormous blow” of having central defender Nathan Stainfield ruled out for the final games this term.

An open forum meeting will be held in the Tulips Social Club on Wednesday (7.30pm) where supporters are invited to fill positions.