High-Flying Owls Interrupt Tulips Revival
In an evenly-fought contest it was the hosts who kickstarted 2018 with a win, but the signs remain positive for Chris Rawlinson's Tulips!...
A disappointing result for the Tulips after a highly encouraging performance against promotion chasing Cleethorpes Town on New Year Day.
Following two excellent wins over the holiday period (at home to Peterborough Sports on Boxing Day and Newcastle Town on Saturday 30/12/17 - both by a 2-0 margin) it would have been nice to complete the hat-trick, certainly few could argue that a share of the points at the nest of The Owls would have been well deserved.
As in the home wins over local rivals Peterborough Sports and Newcastle Town, the Tulips again drew first blood with an early goal and the side looked to be on course for another maximum haul of the points.
Right-back Conor Marshall fired the opener after 14 minutes – a tremendous strike from 12 yards out. Gary King (pictured), on his return to Bradley Road, featured in the build-up. His through pass to Cenk Acar ultimately won a throw-in (quickly taken) and leading to left-back Lincoln City Acadmey loanee James Hugo winning possession and giving the final pass for King to find Marshall who gave former Tulips’ ‘keeper Richard Walton no chance.
Two minutes later Marshall got forward, only to fire over the bar and in follow-up play Jonny Lockie had a couple of opportunities. The Tulips were good value, proving that the new playing formation of 5-3-2 is working well.
Lee Beeson gave another fully-committed performance and also tested Walton before the interval. While at the other end Luke Aldrich twice missed the target , but Tulips’ custodian Michael Duggan wasn’t really called into action until early in the second-half.
Duggan was finally beaten by an exceptional strike by Aldrich on 62 minutes: a full-blooded hit from fully 20 yards which rocketed into the far corner.
Jack Fixter limped out of the game after turning an ankle in the 68th minute and fellow defender, man-of-the-match Ben Davision, was laid out prostrate on the pitch with a hamstring injury when 'The Owls' sneaked the deciding goal in the 78th minute, with substitute Daniel North heading in at the far post in a packed area. It could be argued that had he not been injured Davison would have been in the right place to prevent the goal.
The Tulips switched to a three-man attack in search of an equalising goal. Local lad Ellis Humble had a great late chance to snatch the vital equaliser, but fired over the bar and a Matt Clarke effort from a Beeson corner was blocked on the line.
So near and yet so far but the Tulips can hold their heads high after yet anmother valiant effort and fine performance: the New Year augurs well!...
Tulips: Michael Duggan, Conor Marshall, Adam Jackson, Jack Fixter (Scott Floyd, 68 mins), Ben Davison (Matt Clarke, 80 mins), Elllis Humble, Cenk Acar, Lee Beeson, Gary King, Jonny Lockie (George Couzens, 75 mins), James Hugo. Sub (not used): Alex Smith.
Tulips Man-of-the-Match: Ben Davison