Loughborough Dynamo 2 Spalding United 0
Oh for a proven striker! Another catalogue of missed opportunities and a seventh successive defeat leaves the Tulips teetering on the fringe of the relegation area of Evo Stik NPL South.
After a slow and sloppy start, the Tulips were left chasing the game after shipping a sixth-minute goal at Loughborough on Saturday, but they fought back to create enough scoring opportunities to have ended their dismal run of defeats.
They even failed to score from the penalty spot – Lee Beeson’s 62nd minute attempt well saved by goalkeeper Charlie Taylor.
The Dynamo custodian had also denied Jenk Acar – who also fired high over the bar from just seven yards in the closing stages– Jonny Lockie and Ben Davison, as the Tulips opened the second period in lively fashion.
The unmarked Louis Keenan pounced to give the home side an early advantage with a neat near-post finish following a free kick. Tulips’ ’keeper Michael Duggan did manage to get a hand to the ball, but with not enough purchase to stop it crossing the line.
Dynamo, themselves on the back of three consecutive defeats, always looked dangerous on the break, particularly down the wings, but some good defensive play kept them at bay.
The first of numerous fine saves by home ’keeper Taylor came on 25 minutes, when he was at full stretch to turn Beeson’s trademark free kick past a post.
From the resulting corner, Ellis Humble’s firm header was deflected off-target.
As the first half ticked away, Tulips were denied by a goalline clearance, while at the other end, Neal Spafford and Humble combined to protect ’keeper Duggan.
The opening minutes of the second period saw the home goal under siege as the Tulips battled for parity. The out-of-sorts Acar skied one close- range shot and another effort was parried by ’keeper Taylor, while Davison’s follow-up effort flashed across the goalmouth.
After a lengthy discussion between the referee and one of his assistants, Acar was awarded a penalty after having his shirt tugged. But again, Taylor turned up trumps by saving Beeson’s spot kick.
The game was put beyond the Tulips’ reach in the 82nd minute following a mistake by Adam Jackson, which Josh Riley fully exploited to fire past the helpless Duggan.