Invaluable Point Gained At The Seaside
By Non-League Webmeister
Spafford heroics help Tulips gain much-needed point away at Marske United...
Match Report by Tulips' Press Officer, Ray Tucker:-
Neal Spafford (pictured) returned to action after a two-week break in the US to turn in a man-of-the-match performance and score the goal which earned the Tulips a crucial point in their quest for NPL Evo-Stik East Division safety.
The hard-earned and much-needed point gained at mid-table Marske United gave the Tulips a three point advantage over relegation rivals Carlton Town and basement side Gresley FC, who both suffered defeats, ahead of the Bank Holiday Easter Monday fixtures.
The Tulips are now level on points with Wisbech Town (who shared points at home with Pickering Town) and level on goal difference, but just behind them by virtue of having scored five fewer goals.
On one of the hottest days of the year and spending three-hours travelling to the far-east region of the North Riding of Yorkshire, the Tulips were fully up for the task of avenging the 2-0 defeat inflicted by the Seasiders at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field way back in September, and more importantly securing valuable points.
In a closely contested game the Tulips just shaded the first half, despite losing Archie Moyses to injury early on, but went in at the break a goal down, scored on 43 minutes when, in a goalmouth melee an attempted clearance deflected from the body of Curtis Round just inside Michael Duggan’s right side post.
The Tulips hadin fact been within inches of gaining a sixth minute advantage. Kegan Everington’s long ball picked out Isaac Cooper dashing down the left wing. He breezed past his marker and unleashed a shot from just outside the area, only to see the ball whizz fractionally wide of the far post.
Shortly afterwards the Tulips thought they were denied a goal when ‘keeper Robert Dean appeared to claw back Leon Mettam’s shot from over the line. Tulips’ keeper Michael Duggan did his bit to hold the home attackers at bay with a couple of headed clearances.
To concede a goal so close to the interval was a blow but parity was soon to be restored after the break. The home team had Glen Butterworth sent off for a lunging tackle on Spafford in the 50th minute but 'Spaff' picked himself up and six minutes later was on the end of Taron Hare’s long throw and slotted the ball home at the far post.
Play was continually from end to end but with the better goal attempts coming from the Tulips. Only a spectacular save from ‘keeper Dean to beat out George Zuerner’s stinging shot denied the visitors a memorable and rare win on the road.
Team: Michael Duggan, Taron Hare, James Hugo, James Cullingworth, Rudy Misambo, Neal Spafford, Archie Moyses (Scott Floyd, 7 mins), Kegan Everington, Leon Mettam (Luke White, 71 mins), George Zuerner (Jack Brownell, 85 mins), Isaac Cooper.
Tulips' Man-of-the-Match: Neal Spafford
REMAINING HOME FIXTURE
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!