Revenge is sweet for the Tulips

Dave Frecklington. ANL-160515-173737001
Dave Frecklington. ANL-160515-173737001
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Spalding United maintained their resurgent form with a third successive victory, and another highly satisfying clean sheet as they left Gresley with a 2-0 success.

The win sees the Tulips retain third place in the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South.

The overall team performance against a Gresley side that had hammered them 4-1 in the FA Trophy back in early October impressed the management team and travelling club officials, and was regarded as the best of the season so far.

The passion and determination of the players, typified by the recently returned Adam Jackson to the Sir Halley Stewart Field fold, on a notoriously soggy Moat Lane pitch, was such that goalkeeper Michael Duggan did not have to make a meaningful save during the 90 minutes.

With so many contenders, It was a difficult decision to make, but Jackson took the man-of- the-match honours.

The scoreline could have been greater but for a first half penalty miss – Matt Varley’s shot being well saved by keeper Rob Peet.

The Spalding midfielder, however, made amends late on with a blistering 20 yard volley that almost burst the netting.

Peet never flinched a muscle as the ball flew passed him.

Another huge plus for the Tulips was seeing striker Bradley Barraclough come through the 90 minutes unscathed following a long period out of action with foot ligament damage.

He and the league’s leading scorer Bradley Wells combined beautifully throughout, while Connor Higginson filled the void in midfield created by the decision of parent club Burton Albion to move Charlie Gatter to Boston United.

Although never to be underestimated, Gresley again showed the determination to attack every opportunity, but were never afforded the freedom they enjoyed in their last meeting.

Courtney Meade, who scored a worthy hat-trick against the Tulips in their FA Trophy encounter, was never a threat this time out, and Pearson Mwanyongo, who is second behind Bradley Wells in the league hotshot listings, did not have a shot on target, although did show his skills on the ball.

It was the Tulips who had the lion’s share of shots on target in a goalless first half with Wells and Higginson going close.

Nathan Whitehead also saw a good effort flash by a post.

In another attack, Wells was fouled in the area, but Varley’s 33rd minute penalty shot was well saved by the diving Peet in the home goal.

Shortly afterwards Brad Barraclough was fractionally wide with a well connected volley.

The Tulips broke the deadlock on 66 minutes with a second penalty, this time when Nathan Stainfield and Ben Harris were locked together.

This time Higginson stepped up for the spot kick and made no mistake.

The Tulips continued to dictate the pattern of play and the result was finally cemented on 87 minutes when Varley volleyed home from a left side corner kick, sending the team and management into a frenzy.

SPALDING: Duggan, Walker, Jackson, Varley, Stainfield, Spafford (Field 61), Lemon, Whitehead, Wells, Barraclough, Higginson; Subs (not used): Downey, Flemming.

Att: 226.