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Spalding wilt under second half barrage from title-chasing Stamford




Spalding United fell to their fifth successive league defeat as they succumbed to title-chasing Stamford's second half onslaught at the Zeeco Stadium on Saturday.

The Tulips had led through Tobias Liversedge's 19th minute opener against their second-placed hosts in front of a bumper crowd of 513.

But the in-form Daniels hit back to level within nine minutes and then netted four goals without reply in the second half to leave the Tulips having picked up just one win from their last seven league games.

Stamford were 5-1 derby winners over Spalding United. Photo: Alan Walters (31578885)
Stamford were 5-1 derby winners over Spalding United. Photo: Alan Walters (31578885)

The Tulips made two changes to their starting line-up from the midweek defeat against Chasetown, with Ben Richards replacing the injured Jan Yeomans and Liversedge coming in for Lewis Smith.

They set up with a game-plan to contain their high-flying hosts who came into the contest on the back of six successive league wins.

It worked to good effect in the opening exchanges as, although Stamford enjoyed plenty of possession, they struggled to break through a stubborn Spalding rearguard.

Stamford, as expected, piled on the pressure in the early exchanges, with ex-Tulips striker Tom Siddons having a shot deflected wide off James Hugo after Cosmos Matwasa had flicked on Sean Wright's raking pass.

Richards then rescued Spalding on a couple of occasions as the Tulips continued to defend well under the early onslaught.

The 6ft 5in defender made a crucial interception from Ollie Brown-Hill's dangerous cross after Mike Armstrong's quickly-taken free-kick before making a equally important challenge to deny Tendai Chitiza in the box.

Rob Morgan fired another shot narrowly over before Spalding took the lead against the run of play.

Stamford were 5-1 derby winners over Spalding United. Photo: Alan Walters (31578982)
Stamford were 5-1 derby winners over Spalding United. Photo: Alan Walters (31578982)

Jack Smith flicked on a free-kick for the unmarked Liversedge to run onto and fire past Dan Haystead in the home goal.

The lead lasted just nine minutes though as good play by Matwasa created space for Chitiza whose shot was deflected into the path of Siddons and Stamford's top scorer made no mistake with a strong finish into the roof of the net.

Stamford continued to look to add to their tally, but it was Spalding who came closest to regaining the lead.

Stamford were 5-1 derby winners over Spalding United. Photo: Alan Walters (31578984)
Stamford were 5-1 derby winners over Spalding United. Photo: Alan Walters (31578984)

The usually steady Stamford defensive line failed to deal with a routine ball forward and Smith headed past the advancing Haystead, only for Jordon Cooke to make a superb covering clearance off the line.

Siddons curled another effort narrowly over on the stroke of half-time as Spalding continued to defy the Daniels.

That sparked a half-time change by Stamford boss Graham Drury, with the fit-again James Hicks replacing Brown-Hill.

Stamford were 5-1 derby winners over Spalding United. Photo: Alan Walters (31578986)
Stamford were 5-1 derby winners over Spalding United. Photo: Alan Walters (31578986)

Spalding had the first attempt of the second half with George Couzens hitting a decent strike which was turned away by Haystead, while Michael Duggan in the Spalding goal did well at the other end to deny Chitiza after a strong run and shot.

Duggan though was powerless to prevent Stamford taking the lead after 54 minutes.

Cooke's cross to the back post picked out Siddons who had time to take the ball under his spell before unleashing a magical finish high into the Spalding net.

Hicks could have increased the lead minutes later when he headed wide when well-placed from a Harry Vince corner.

But a third goal, and the best of the game, did follow just past the hour mark as Vince netted for the fourth successive match.

Hicks' lay off found Morgan whose sublime back-heel found the in-form midfielder who hit home into the bottom corner of the Spalding net.

It was now all Stamford and a fourth goal came with 20 minutes remaining.

Matwasa burst into the box and lifted his shot over the advancing Duggan and, although his effort hit the post, Chitiza pounced to crack home the rebound.

Stamford continued to create the chances and Siddons should have completed his hat-trick when he lifted his shot over the crossbar at the back post after Chitiza's cross had found him unmarked.

Chitiza did complete the scoring in the last minute when he headed home a Vince corner as Spalding conceded their 19th goal in the last five league games.

Drury said: "I thought in the first half that our movement off the ball was abysmal.

"We were lethargic in any sprints and Spalding were going to enjoy that.

"My players had a bit of a rocket at half-time, but then we showed the way we've been playing all season.

"It was a fantastic second half performance with a third goal that would grace any Arsene Wenger side with the passing and movement, touch and cleverness of the running."

SPALDING: Duggan, Spencer, Hugo, Floyd, Bucci, Richards, Burrell (sub Mathmbuko 88 mins), Everington, J. Smith (sub Brooks 65 mins), Couzens, Liversedge (sub Ramsden 86 mins).Sub not used: A. Smith (GK).

Attendance: 513.


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