Sterling endeavours on the road in recent weeks finally caught up with the Tulips and despite going up a goal to the good - thanks to an own-goal (no video/photo evidence can prove one way or t'other whether it was Ellis Humble or the visiting defender who claimed the final touch, though muted player celes in blue suggested it was the centre-back who diverted the ball past his own 'keeper) - it was the visitors, Leek Town, who always looked the most likely to come out on top, and so they did by a margin of 3-1, cementing their place in the Play-Off frame thanks to Stamford AFC's surprising 3-1 loss at bottom-of-the-table Romulus FC.
The defeat didn't affect the Tulips 12th position in the league but it was a deflating way to end their home campaign in 2017/18, unable as they were to put on a showpiece for the 107 in attendance. The defeat meant the Tulips have not managed a home win thus far in 2018, something they'll doubtless be keen to put to rights in the early throes of 2018/19, to ensure the fans are firmly behind them early-doors in the new campaign, when it starts. Of course, one can't overlook the terrific away form since Christmas that has been the main instigator behind the club's survival at Step 4, but with only a handful of travelling fans attending most away games, it's vital that the Sir HAlley Stewart Playing Field becomes somethng of a 'Fortress Tulip' and/or 'Theatre of Dreams' to help entice the paying public through the hallowed gates each week.
Two highlights other than match-action from Saturday to report:-
Firstly, Tulips' custodian Michael Duggan (pictured) received his second commemorative framed print (courtesy of design group JWDC), this time to mark his 250th appearance for the club (which took place last Monday evening at Peterborough Sports. The award was presented by club stalwart & sponsor Chris Maplethorpe.
Secondly, Leek Town striker Tim Grice first equalled and then broke his club's all-time goalscoring record with the brace he notched on Saturday; his second, a delightful lob from distance over what we all know is an outstanding goalkeeper, was a worthy goal to celebrate any milestone and will doubtless live long in his memory and those of all the travelling Leek faithful there to witness history: on behalf of SUFC, congratulations to Tim - a truly great achievement!
A full Match Report by Ray Tucker on Leek Town's deserved 1-3 win will follow at some stage on Sunday.
The Tulips are away at Sheffield FC on Tuesday 24th April (KO: 7.45pm) before ending their 2017/18 campaign away again, at the manager's former club Lincoln United, on Saturday 28th April (KO: 3.00pm).
A huge thanks to everyone - fans, sponsors, contributors, volunteers, players, management and board - for all the suppprt this season. Enjoy the summer break (if you're not following us away on Tuesday/Saturday!) - we look forward to welcoming you all again in the Pre-Season and once the new season proper kicks-off in August!...
Updated 17:23 - 23 Apr 2018 by Non-League Webmeister