MATCH VERDICT: Derby day deadlock at Spalding United
Chris Rawlinson was full of praise for Spalding United’s efforts after a derby point against play-off chasing Stamford on Saturday all but secured their Evo-Stik League future.
The goalless stalemate took the Tulips to the coveted 40-point mark and leaves them 12 clear of bottom-of-the-table Romulus who have four games remaining but would need to overturn a 29-goal difference to catch them.
Spalding produced an efficient display to frustrate the Daniels who failed to hit the heady heights of the previous week’s six-goal demolition of promotion rivals Chasetown.
Rawlinson said: “I’m really pleased. It’s a good point for us because Stamford are a good side.
“They have got a lot of different options up front which could have made it difficult for us.
“We had the better chances in the first half and, although they had slightly better options coming off the bench, we coped well with any pressure in the second half.
“We are a hard side to beat at home. The boys worked hard. There was a lot of passion and effort from everyone.
“I thought Jenk Acar and Ben Davison caused Stamford all sorts of problems in the first half. It was as tough a game as they’ll get at this level.
“It’s job done for us as well. After the budget cuts, everyone seemed to think we were bound for the United Counties League so I’m really pleased.
“We’ve played well against Alvechurch and Stamford. Although we were poor against Loughborough Dynamo, we’ll be looking to back this result up.”
It’s job done for us as well. After the budget cuts, everyone seemed to think we were bound for the United Counties League so I’m really pleased.
Spalding made a bright start to proceedings with a couple of crucial challenges early on from Daniels defender Mike Armstrong denying a sight of goal.
Stamford striker Callum Ball came close to taking advantage of some confusion in the home box while Rob Morgan saw a shot deflected wide after a strong surge forward.
Spalding went closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening period as James Hugo rattled the crossbar with an effort from an acute angle.
Stamford responded more after the break and looked the more likelier of the two sides to snap the stalemate.
Henry Eze headed just over from a corner while an excellent crossfield ball from Eliot Putman found Brad Wells in space, but the ex-Spalding striker saw his effort blocked with Morgan’s rebound squirming just wide of the far post.
Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson then saw a half chance blocked by a stubborn Spalding rearguard before substitute Jon Challinor brought a decent block out of Tulips goalkeeper Michael Duggan after an astute pass from Morgan.
Stamford used all their three substitutes in a bid to try to prise an opening but, despite the switches, Spalding stood strong to claim a second draw of the season against the Daniels.
Duggan, Miller, Hugo, Varley, Humble, Spafford, Marshall, Brooks, King (sub White), Davison (sub Lockie), Acar. Subs not used: Stainfield, Smith.
Haystead, George (sub Adams), Putman, Armstrong, Gordon, Eze, Morgan, Duffy, Ball (sub Challinor), Fortnam-Tomlinson, Wells (sub Brown-Hill). Not used: Burgess, Peasgood.
Frickley Athletic (H) – Tuesday.