VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Spalding United pick up point after penalty miss
After a two-week break from action, Spalding United earned a point against higher-placed Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday.
On a very difficult and sticky playing surface, it was not an occasion for pretty football but full-blooded commitment saw a share of the spoils.
The Tulips brought in on-loan King’s Lynn Town striker Tom Siddons and Lincoln City second-year scholar Michael Antkowiak, replacing regular keeper Michael Duggan.
Siddons was a real threat to the Steels defence, particularly in the first half, and he signalled his arrival with a smartly-taken goal in the 10th minute.
Matt Varley was also back from Worksop Town, replacing unavailable Lee Beeson in midfield.
Antkowiak was called into early action with a solid punched clearance from the head of Joe Lumsden and a few minutes later confidently rose high to collect the ball in a crowded area following a corner kick.
The Tulips broke the deadlock as Paul Walker’s finely threaded forward pass was perfect for Siddons who side-stepped his marker and knocked the ball past David Reay.
The pitch was proving to be a problem with players slipping and sliding but Lumsden managed to remain upright to unleash a stinging shot which rattled the bar.
A similar effort by Varley also rebounded off the woodwork.
The best of the penalty area action was provided by the Tulips with Reay twice denying Siddons from close range.
The striker turned provider for James Tricks whose shot from the edge of the area missed the target by inches.
Play was constantly from end to end as Steels skipper Liam McFadyen went close to levelling the scores with a firm header but the 35th minute brought the equalising goal.
Neal Spafford conceded a free-kick just outside the box, Varley cleared at the expense of a corner but Rory Coleman scored direct from the flag kick.
Only a well-timed challenge by Coleman on Siddons halted a swift reply and a good effort by Jenk Acar was palmed over the bar by Reay as the opening half drew to a close.
The second half provided a similar pattern with both defences tested to the full and the goalkeepers constantly involved.
However, in stoppage-time, Coleman’s penalty came off the outside of the post.
Spalding: Antkowiak, Fixter, Hugo, Varley, Humble, Spafford, Walker, Marshall, Siddons, Tricks (sub Lockie 73 mins), Acar. Subs not used: Havard, Floyd, Duggan.