Tulips Play-Off Challenge Dies At Romulus
In spite of having everything to play for, a bemusingly jaded Tulips succumbed on the road...
After a season of high expectation, with realistic thoughts of promotion or at the very least an Evo-Stik NPL First Division South Play-Off berth only a few weeks ago, the Tulips have unfortunately ended an exciting season with neither, following a disappointing season finale on the same artificial pitch where it had all begun way back in August last year.
The Tulips lost that opening fixture with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Sutton Coldfield Town, who eventually pipped them for a play-off position, and then succumbed 3-0 to mid-table Romulus on the same pitch at the weekend.
The final weeks of the season have seen the Tulips’ for some unknown reason, drop off the pace – very much the same as in the past two seasons – picking up just three points from a possible 12.
Although their home form has been excellent with 16 league wins, their away performances have been a disappointment with just seven three pointers.
Saturday’s display was certainly below par and a number of players will be on tenterhooks before learning if manager Pat will invite them back again for next season - based on last weekend's effort, a few will surely be disappointed...
Romulus pulled the strings almost throughout and could have won by a greater margin but for some stirling work in particular by Adam Jackson, Jamie Stevens and Chris Hall, and another excellent goalkeeping display from Michael Duggan.
The Tulips did have their opportunities but poor finishing from good positions let them down. They did get the ball in the home net in the closing stages when only one goal, scored by Joel Grandison on 24 minutes, separated the teams, but Matt Nolan’s 84th minute effort was disallowed for offside.
However, just two minutes later Romulus extended their lead with a superb strike by substitute Jordan Francis and then rubbed salt into the wounds with Grandison notching his second in added time.
The defeat leaves Spalding United in seventh position, which in itself is no mean achievement and fans, almost double in numbers from recent seasons, have been fully entertained and can rest assured that manager Pat will be fully focussed during the summer and again setting his sights high for next season.
Team: Michael Duggan, Mitch Griffiths, Adam Jackson, Jamie Stevens, Michael Leary, Jack McGovern, Lee Beeson, Chris Hall, Tom Waumsley (Matt Nolan, 52 mins), Avelino Vieira (Lewis Webb, 52 mins), Jamie Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): George Stainfield, Nathan Adams, Alex Pycock
Tulips' Men-of-the-Match: Adam Jackson & Michael Duggan
The next game for the Tulips - the first of the 2015/16 season - is scheduled for Friday 17th July (KO: 7.45pm) against Stamford AFC at the Sir Halley Stewart Field in the First Round of the reformatted Lincolnshire FA County Senior Trophy, which will now be a Pre-Season tournament
Enjoy your summer and on behalf of everyone connected with Spalding United FC, THANK YOU FOR YOUR INVALUABLE SUPPORT IN 2014/15!