Wonder goal sends Spalding United to another defeat

Spalding United
Spalding United
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Stocksbridge Park Steels 2 Spalding United 1
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A superbly-struck second-half goal sent Spalding United to a fifth successive defeat.

With the scores level Corey Gregory – taking possession down the right touchline – whipped the ball into the area with venom, despatching it into the top far corner of Michael Duggan’s goal to restore the lead in the 67th minute.

It was a wonder goal which followed one of numerous defence-splitting moves, as often as not instigated by Gregory, throughout the game by swift-moving Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Despite the amount of rain which had descended in recent weeks, the playing surface at the Local Look Stadium was in pristine condition.

More rain tumbled down throughout Saturday’s game but when the action had ceased you would have hardly noticed that it had been pounded for more than 90 minutes.

The Steels were the more dominant of the two teams in the opening half, playing good passing football at pace.

The Tulips, although under pressure, defended well with Dan Banister proving to be an inspiration in the midfield.

He was the first to get a shot on target in the opening exchanges, forcing David Reay into a good low save from his 25-yard strike.

There as a setback for the Tulips on 16 minutes when central defender Neal Spafford limped off with a calf injury.

Josh Moreman, back after a three-match suspension, ducked and weaved to get in a solid shot which also tested Reay.

But the visiting defence was stretched on 33 minutes with another sequence by the Steels with Jack Poulton’s shot just wide of the target.

Duggan was twice in the thick of the action but was finally beaten on 37 minutes by Joe Lumsden who added the vital finish to a neat pass from playmaker Gregory.

But the Tulips were back in the game before the interval. Dan Lawlor neatly chipped the ball over the defence and Moreman gave chase, side-stepping a couple of back-markers before levelling the scores via the woodwork in the first minute of added time.

Ten minutes into the second period only the woodwork saved the Tulips from going behind again – Paulton’s effort rebounding to safety.

Both Lawlor and Banister got in good shots for Spalding before Gregory’s wonder goal.

Manager Marcus Ebdon made a double substitution for the Tulips with 18 minutes to go with Charley Sanders and Jonny Lockie replacing Jamie Graham and Tom Waumsley.

This heralded possibly the brightest period of the game for the Tulips.

The lively Lockie will be disappointed not to have notched his first goal when failing to connect with Sanders’ cross at the far post.

Sanders also had a shot blocked on the line and skipper Nathan Stainfield’s header from a corner was cleared from the line in the closing minutes.

Spalding: Duggan, Walker, Jackson, Spafford (sub Humble 16 mins), Stainfield, Lee, Banister, Lawlor, Waumsley (sub Lockie 72 mins), Graham (sub Sanders 72 mins), Moreman. Sub not used: Hussey.