Woeful Tulips Deliver Lacklustre Show When More Was Needed
By Non-League Webmeister
Faced with the spectre of relegation, the last thing you need to do is gift the opposition a two-goal start within the first nine minutes...
Match Report by Tulips' Press Officer, Mr Ray Tucker
Two goals conceded in the opening ten minutes against a free scoring Loughborough Dynamo side left the Tulips facing an uphill battle to secure vital points to aid their NPL Evo-Stik East Division survival fight at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
The Leicestershire visitors, who had amassed 71 goals so far this season, looked to be on course for another bumper tally as they subjected the Tulips to an all-out attack. That they didn’t achieve this was the result of some dogged defending and some bare-knuckle goalkeeping by Tulips custodian Michael Duggan who made a string of vitally important saves.
The Tulips were chasing the game after only six minutes when Luke Foster found space in crowded area to poke the ball home following a corner kick. Four minutes later Alex Steadman added to the Dynamo scoreline, taking advantage when the Tulips failed to deal effectively with a fluid left-sided movement.
As the offensive continued Duggan firstly raced from his line to boot the ball into touch to deny the lively Karl Demidh and then saved with his feet beside a post to keep out Ryan Robbins’ effort.
It wasn't until the 33rd minute that visiting ‘keeper Tom Oliver was called into action. Leon Mettam gained possession from Taron Hare’s long throw , heading the ball with some force and direction, only to see Oliver pluck the ball from under the bar.
Duggan pulled off another telling save from Demidh before Romario Martin’s decent shot from the edge of the area caught a deflection to turn the ball wide of the target.
Early in the second half Rudy Misambo was on the end of a Kegan Everington free-kick but Oliver was well placed to deny him with a full-stretch save.
The Tulips went on to play with more spirit and determination. Martin was close to pulling a goal back on 72 minutes following a threatening movement down the right side, but the ball sneaked just wide. Mettam had another header well saved minutes later and Martin did get the ball into the sacking, but a goal was disallowed for offside.
All in all, most in attendance seemed to feel that this was a pretty desperate performance by the hosts, a fact which was all the more bizarre/frustrating considering this was a game where everyone knew the Tulips needed to try and secure at least a point, with three arguably tougher fixtures remaining before the season's conclusion: away at Marske United on 20/4 and Belper Town 27/4, with a final home match of 2018/19 v Brighouse Town sandwiched between, on Easter Monday 22/4.
The only bright note on an otherwise dismal day for the South Lincolnshire side was that other relegation-threatened clubs around them - Gresley FC, Wisbech Town and Pickering Town - also lost; however, another lowly side, Carlton Town, managed a 1-1 draw with Stocksbridge Park Steels to put their fate back in their own hands.
Team: Michael Duggan, Jack Fixter (George Zuerner, 12 mins), Liam Marshall, Jack Brownell, Rudy Misambo, Taron Hare, Archie Moyses, Kegan Everington, Leon Mettam, Luke White (Charlie Hart, 64 mins - replaced by James Hugo, 89 mins), Romario Martin. Subs (not used); Jack Brown, Daniel Mason, Alex Smith.
Tulips' Man of the Match: Archie Moyses
REMAINING HOME FIXTURES
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!