PLAY-OFF FINAL: Heartbreak, but pride, for the Tulips

Spalding goalscorer Leon Mettam
Spalding goalscorer Leon Mettam
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Spalding’s United’s outstanding season ended in heartbreak with a play-off final defeat at the hands of Witton Albion today (April 29).

But The Tulips have no reason to be downcast. Finishing in the top three of Division One South of the Evo Stik Northern Premier Division was a fine effort and they went down fighting in today’s promotion decider at second-placed finishers Witton.

Witton finished 17 points clear of Spalding in the final standings, but there wasn’t a lot between the teams in front of a crowd in excess of 800 today.

The home side deserved their win, but were given enough scary moments by Spalding to ensure celebrations on the final whistle were borne of relief as well as happiness.

Witton took the lead on 66 minutes with a fine Bradley Bauress goal.

But a cracking strike from Leon Mettam three minutes later dragged Spalding level before Anthony Gardner’s goal 14 minutes from time secured a Premier Division place for Witton. Gardner was first to react after Spalding ‘keeper Michael Duggan had made a fine save.

Spalding’s opponents in Division One South next season will include Stamford AFC and could include United Counties Premier Division champions Peterborough Sports.