Tulips Undone Again At The Last
By Non-League Webmeister
A 78th-minute goal by visiting Ossett United condemned the Tulips to yet another home defeat & the growing threat of the dreaded drop...
Match Report by Tulips' Press Officer, Mr Ray Tucker
The Tulips battle for NPL Evo-Stik East Division survival continues after another narrow defeat leaves them third from bottom of the table (just ahead of Carlton Town and Gresley FC, who also both lost on Saturday), in the middle of a group of six teams divided by just seven points.
The Tulips season has been one of ‘ifs and buts’ and defeat at the hands of third-placed Ossett United on Saturday was one of nine single-goal losses, with many games decided by a goal scored in the dying minutes.
Despite another home defeat, the performance was transformed and in complete contrast to the previous week against fellow strugglers Stocksbridge Park Steels, but the hosts' collective downfall once again was not being able to deal well enough against corner-kicks and set-piece movements in their own goal-area. Both of their opponents goals on Saturday resulted from such situations and were very much scrambled affairs which surely could have been avoided.
The Tulips set pulses racing when gifted an early advantage following an act of sheer lunacy by Ossett goalkeeper Brett Souter. He dashed to the edge of his 18 yards-area to flatten Romario Martin and concede a penalty as well as getting a caution in the process. Martin stepped up to convert from 12 yards with a low struck shot into a corner of the target in the ninth minute.
Just ten minutes later Souter was again centre of attention when charging out of his goal to the touchline to crash into the unfortunate Martin.
Another chargable offence? Probably so, but referee Martyn Fryer showed leniency and awarded just a free-kick which came to nothing.
It must be noted that Mr Fryer and his assistants Lewis Saunders-Johnson and James Tewson, formed one of best ‘team’ performances by officials seen at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field this season: well done chaps!
The early goal flushed the Tulips with confidence but they missed an opportunity to extend their advantage by not inflicting more pressure on the jittery Souter who settled to make some important saves and interceptions, one to pluck a goalbound header by James Hugo from beneath the top angle of his goal.
At the home end of the pitch Neal Spafford made a crucial clearance amid a goalmouth scramble and minutes later goalkeeper Michael Duggan saved at the second attempt from Andy Monkhouse’s free kick. Just before the interval the ‘keeper saved bravely at the feet of Tom Greaves.
It was game-on two minutes into the second period when a long-throw into the home area created panic and in the ensuing scramble Marco Basic managed to force the ball into the sacking.
Ossett upped the pace and largely dictated, but the Tulips did not make things easy for them with some determined play.
Goalkeeper Duggan, surely a front-runner for Tulips' Player Of The Season for his consistently high standards throughout a torrid campaign, kept the home side in the game with a super reflex save from point-blank range to deny the dangerous Tom Corner who had been introduced to the game midway in the first-half - he would emerge as Ossett’s man-of-the-match.
It was Corner who grabbed the deciding goal in an all-action second-half, albeit with the help of a deflection inside the six-yards area following a 78th minute corner.
The Tulips, with just five games remaining, were obvioulsy deflated at the end but they have little option other than to dig deep and go again next weekend when they travel to Yorkshire to face Pickering Town on Saturday 6th April (KO: 3.00pm).
Team: Michael Duggan, Taron Hare, James Hugo, James Cullingworth (Jack Brownell, 75 mins), Rudy Misambo (Jack Fixter, 66 mins), Neal Spafford, Archie Moyses, Kegan Everington, Romario Martin, Leon Mettam (George Zuerner, 80mins), Jenk Acar. Subs (not used): Liam Marshall, Luke White
Tulips' Man-of-the-Match: Kegan Everington
UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES
Saturday 13th April 2019
NPL Evo-Stik East Division
Spalding United v Loughborough Dynamo
Easter Monday 22nd April 2019 - Our final home match of 2018/19!
NPL Evo-Stik East Division
Spalding United v Brighouse Town
Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field
Youths (12-16): £2.00
Accompanied U12s: FREE!