TULIPS: Plucky Spalding out of Shield

On target: Simon Mowbray's rich vein of scoring form continued at the Meres Stadium.
On target: Simon Mowbray's rich vein of scoring form continued at the Meres Stadium.
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GRANTHAM TOWN 4 (Ball 9, McGhee 25, Purcicoe pen 82, Grimes 86) SPALDING UNITED 2 (Harrold 72, Mowbray 77): TWO hotly-disputed goals in the last eight minutes sent the Tulips crashing out of the Lincolnshire FA Senior Shield at the Meres Stadium.

Having hauled themselves back from 2-0 down on Tuesday night, Spalding were punished by a penalty and a direct free-kick in the closing stages.

Old foes Grantham raced into a 2-0 lead early on thanks to Martin Ball and ex-Tulip Jamie McGhee.

But attackers Liam Harrold and Simon Mowbray struck a quick-fire double for Andy Stanhope’s side to set up a grandstand finish.

Parity was short-lived though, as a dubious handball given against skipper Gary Pawson allowed Sam Purcicoe to bury a penalty.

And the game was over when Paul Grimes fired home direct from a free-kick, given harshly against defender Shaun Baker.

Spalding player/coach Danny Hussey said: “We did really well to get back into it in the second half and played some excellent football.

“It’s disappointing but the signs are there that we are heading in the right direction and we can take a lot of positives from this performance.”

Both of Spalding’s goals were set up by exciting left winger Ryan O’Loughlin.

The first – scored by Harrold from close range – also involved Liam Hook, who put in a stellar showing in the centre of midfield.

Mowbray’s strike was his third since rejoining the Tulips from rivals Holbeach United.

Speaking on his Twitter page, goalscorer Mowbray said: “Proud of the boys, I thought we did well and worked hard against what will be a good Grantham side this season.”

Tulips: McShane, Duncliffe, Earls, Thompson, Pawson, Baker, Shahin, Hook, Harrold, Mowbray, O’Loughlin. Not used: Lyon, Harris, Hussey, Fuff.