TULIPS: It was men against boys - Stanhope

Downbeat: Andy Stanhope.
Downbeat: Andy Stanhope.
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Rushall Olympic 6 Spalding Utd 0: AFTER seeing Spalding slump to their heaviest defeat of the season on Saturday, boss Andy Stanhope declared: “It was men against boys.”

The Tulips are beginning to cut an isolated figure at the bottom of Evo-Stik League First Division South, where they are four points from safety having played more than anyone else around them.

They have now conceded a huge 78 goals in 28 league games – with 18 of those coming in Stanhope’s four games in charge.

But the Tulips boss admits that such a poor run was to be expected and he remains confident of turning the club’s fortunes around.

He said: “It was men against boys. I’ve seen a lot of teams at this level this season and Rushall are the best yet. We couldn’t handle their pace and power.

“Obviously I’m concerned about the number of goals we’re conceding, but this was always going to happen when you lose an entire team mid-way through the season.”

Stanhope suffered a setback before a ball was kicked, with Harry Deane recalled by Boston United.

But he did hand debuts to right-back Cam Sinclair, who has arrived from Lincoln University and striker Darryl Chappell, who lists Shepshed Dynamo and Sleaford Town among his former clubs.

After a goalless opening, Chris Morris stabbed the ball through a crowded area to break the deadlock on 20 minutes, before hat-trick hero Chris Sterling pounced for the second soon after.

Danny Lennon made it 3-0 before the break and Sterling fired home his second from close range on 50 minutes. Sterling then completed his treble ten minutes from time.

David de Oliveira twice went close late on for Spalding, but Lee Beckett’s injury time penalty ensured that the Tulips have now conceded six goals in successive league games.

Tulips: Thackery, Sinclair, Howard (Lyon 75), Goosey, Holding, Pawson, Curruthers, Drury (Donachy 55), Kennedy, Chappell, de Oliveira (Shaw 80). Not used: Flintoft.

Goals (Rushall): Morris 20, Sterling 36, 50 & 80, Lennon 44, Beckett pen 90.

Saturday – Market Drayton Town v Tulips (3pm).