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VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: ‘Criminal’ red card for Spalding United’s new captain

Chris Rawlinson
Chris Rawlinson

Boss Chris Rawlinson will consider more changes to stamp out Spalding United’s poor discipline.

Newly-appointed skipper Gary King was sent off on his birthday, having taken the armband following Adam Jackson’s return to Holbeach United.

King was dismissed when the Tulips were already 2-0 down on Saturday as Lee Cropper’s first-half opener was followed by an own goal from Paul Walker just four minutes into the second half.

Kidsgrove Athletic captain Anthony Malbon added a long-range third and James Tricks replied in stoppage-time.

Rawlinson said: “We were in control of the first half, although we didn’t really create anything in the final third.

“They defended resolutely when we had a lot of the ball but our centre-forwards were too wide.

“We were a little bit too deep and you could tell that Ben Davison was back from a few weeks out.

“The pitch was sticky which made it difficult as well.

“On the balance of play, if we had gone in level at half-time I think it would have been fair.

“Conor Marshall was forced off with a knee injury so we had to move people around.

The club had a warning from the Football Association that we need to improve our record so there will have to be changes.
Chris Rawlinson

“We tried to make positive changes with Davison in midfield and I thought Tricks was excellent up front.

“At 2-0 down, though, we got grumpy among ourselves instead of grouping together and having a go at getting out of it.

“We can’t have that anymore. The red card was criminal because you can’t retaliate.

“There was a five-minute spell when it became a bit fiery.

“Then another melee broke out on the other side of the pitch and, regardless of whatever else happened, King threw a punch which missed their player and hit Jonny Lockie.

“We had problems with discipline earlier in the season and I spent 15 minutes before Saturday’s game warning the team not to get silly bookings.

“All of a sudden, we were down to 10 men again.

“Malbon is probably the best centre-forward in the league and he scored a very good goal, although he was given too much space with nobody around him.”

The result leaves Spalding 13th in the Evo-Stik South and only six points off the foot of the table.

Next weekend, the Tulips face a trip to bottom-markers Gresley.

Rawlinson added: “The pressure is back on but we are looking up because of the squad here.

“We shouldn’t be contemplating looking our our shoulders but there are probably six other teams who feel exactly the same way.

“It’s all about ourselves now. There are tough games coming up and we can’t have any indiscipline.

“I need to have a long think about it, to be honest.

“The club had a warning from the Football Association that we need to improve our record so there will have to be changes.”


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