Tulips Make It 6/6 Over Easter Period
A resounding 3-0 win over Lincoln United - all goals coming in the first-half - confirmed the Tulips Play-Off credentials!...
What a difference a couple of days made!
A poor display at Kidsgrove Athletic on Saturday 4th April was followed by one of the best displays of football seen at the Sir Halley Stewart Field on Easter Monday, a game which attracted the biggest gate of the season (206) when the Tulips took apart their city visitors, Lincoln United, in great style to strengthen their bid for an end of season Evo-Stik NPL First Division South Play-Off spot.
Manager Pat Rayment promised team changes after the poor showing on Saturday and he kept his word, although two were enforced with both Jamie Stevens and Michael Leary ruled out for medical reasons. Nathan Stainfield returned and turned in a man-of-the-match performance and made the score chart, while Matt Nolan (also on target) and Jack McGovern were also included after missing Saturday's game and played significant parts in the success.
Jamie Thurlbourne was back in the starting line-up whilst Dan Bannister (recently-arrived from St Ives Town) was moved from full-back to his more favoured midfield role and Chris Hall dropped back to cover for Stevens in the heart of defence, alongside skipper for the day Stainfield.
Lincoln, managed by former Tulip Dave Frecklington and captained by another past-favourite at the Sir Halley Stewart, Andy Toyne, were fast out of the blocks with some speedy and solid attacks and caused posed a few early problems as the home team adjusted to the changed line-up. But it was the Tulips who had the best opportunity of the early stages with a looping volley from the edge of the area by Bannister dropping inches over Robert Peet’s crossbar.
At the other end Sam Duncum’s low cross flashed over the area without getting a touch from a single player, but it was the Tulips who drew first blood in the 15th minute. A fluffed clearance by Kallum Smith was quickly seized upon by the alert Matt Nolan who worked his way into the United area and calmly slipped past defenders before stroking the ball just inside a post, giving the ‘keeper no chance.
The home lead was doubled ten minutes later with the impressive Dan Bannister lashing the ball home in style following some excellent build-up play between Nolan and Tom Waumsley down the right touchline.
The Tulips were flying now, although an inswinging corner by Jordan Lemon was within a whisker of bringing Lincoln back into the game and shortly after only an outstretched leg of Stainfield denied the visitors in a brief period of sustained pressure.
As the interval neared a fine reflex save by Peet, turning a close range snap shot by Tom Waumsley round a post, prevented another home goal, but the resulting corner kick, directed superbly to the far post by Jamie Thurlbourne, was powered home in typical style by the jubilant Stainfield, just a minute before the break.
Although the second half failed to deliver more goals, the game was not void of entertainment. Lincoln battled hard to reduce arrears but seldom worried Michael Duggan’s goal, while the Tulips, cheered on superbly by The Blue Army Boys from high in the grandstand, continued to serve up some excellent soccer.
Dan Bannister was unlucky not to add his second goal with a great angled volley while Chris Hall just failed to make solid contact with a six-yard header and Matt Nolan miscued from a good position with the ball sailing just wide of the target.
Team: Michael Duggan, Mitch Griffiths, Adam Jackson, Chris Hall, Nathan Stainfield, Lewis Webb, Dan Bannister, Jack McGovern, Tom Waumsley, Matt Nolan, Jamie Thurlbourne (George Stainfield, 63 mins). Subs (not used): Lee Beeson, Avelino Vieira, Nathan Adams, Alex Pycock.
Tulips' Man-of-the-Match, sponsored by the Spalding United Supporters Association (SUSA): Nathan Stainfield
A video highlight reel of the match, captured/produced by Tulips' supporter & Club Member Robin Vaughan, is hopefully still available to view on [i]YouTube - here's the link:-
Excellent work Robin!...[/i]