Below Par Showing Ends Up In Home Defeat For Tulips
A lack of proven quality in the squad caught up with the Tulips as they went down 1-2 at home to Carlton Town on Saturday...
Without three key performers the Tulips were found lacking at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field and slipped to their third home defeat of the season against Carlton Town, at the same time dropping down three places (to 9th) in the NPL Evo-Stik South rankings.
Manager Chris Rawlinson was reported in the post-match press reports describing the performance as 'not good enough' and 'bang average' which were pretty honest appraisals of the fayre served up by his troops on a day where pre-match anticipation was that the Tulips could put the Buildbase FA Trophy exit to Chasetown last weekend behind them and kick on in the league.
Despite a well-taken goal by new signing Ben Davison (who impressed all afternoon in his first outing at Step 4) and a late salvo of pressure which had the visitors defending for all their worth, the Tulips were found lacking in terms of firepower. The suspended duo of Jamie Jackson and Gary King might well have made a difference in the final third of the pitch, but overall the Tulips could do little to match the battling qualities of their Nottinghamshire visitors and the dominance of man-of-the-match Riece Bertram.
Bertram, signed from league leaders Basford United, covered every inch of the playing surface, creating problems with every step, particularly in the penalty-area where his presence was instrumental in his teams' two goals which, disappointingly for the host, resulted from set pieces: the first was from a 31st minute Jake Carlisle header following a corner, the second in winning a free-kick which Daniel Gordon despatched on 56 minutes beyonf the despairing dive of home custodian Michael Duggan.
The early stages looked promising for the Tulips with some probing attacks but all too often they ended in offside decisions.
One good move however, starting from the back, saw the ball quickly moved to the opposite end via a number of neat passing movements to provide front man Lewis Millington with a great scoring chance. His shot however lacked power and was comfortably held by ‘keeper Jack Steggles.
At the other end it needed a superbly executed sliding tackle by Ellis Humble to deny Jordan Wilson a shot at Michael Duggan’s goal.
In the closing minute of the first half Tulips’ new boy Davison was smartly on the end of a Cenk Acar cross, but Steggles pulled off a smart save at the foot of post to deny him.
Carlton’s advantage was increased on 56 minutes when Gordon’s hard hit low free kick from 20 yards gave Duggan no chance.
Ten minutes later the Tulips were back in the hunt when Davison seized the initiative on the edge of the penalty area to fire the ball into the sacking.
The home team's workrate and tempo increased and Carlton were being tested in and around their own area but there was no real spark from the Tulips’ front line.
Only the crossbar denied Carlton and substitute Akauna Mamoke in the 85th minute.
Tulips: Michael Duggan, Jack Fixter (Jonny Lockie ,70 mins), Adam Jackson, Conor Marshall (Layton Maddison, 77 mins), Ellis Humble, Paul Walker, Jordan Lemon, Lee Beeson, Ben Davison, Lewis Millington (Jordan Neil, 61 mins), Cenk Acar. Sub (not used): Alex Smith
Match Sponsor, Jackson Buildbase of Spalding, Tulips' Man-of-the-Match: Ben Davison
The Tulips are next at home in NPL Evo-Stik South action v Gresley FC on Saturday 18th November (KO: 3.00pm).
Admission prices at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field throughout 2017/18 are as follows:-
Youths (12-16): £2.00
Accompanied U12s: FREE!
Matchday Programmes: £2.50
We hope we can once again count on your invaluable support for this fixture as we seek to get as many local voices as possible behind Chris Rawlinson and the players - Come On You Mighty Tulips!!!