Spalding United denied a sixth win on spin by late Smith strike

Sutton Coldfield Town 1 Spalding United 1

Spalding United were denied a sixth victory on the trot by a late Sutton Coldfield Town leveller on Saturday.

The Tulips, fresh off the back of their thrilling comeback victory over Stamford the previous Tuesday, looked set to keep their hot streak going at the Central Ground.

Sub Ryan Flitton jumped off the bench to put Gaby Zakuani’s side ahead with less than 15 minutes of the Pitching In NPL Midlands Division clash to go.

But Spalding were pegged back with just five minutes remaining by an Alex Smith strike, meaning the spoils were shared on the day.

The hosts started the better of the two sides and tested keeper Michael Duggan a few times early on.

The stalwart Spalding stopper topped a Maxwell Brogan strike just past the post, before gathering a low Rhys Hilton strike and then turning Harry Eden’s blistering drive over the bar.

However, the Tulips are always dangerous and almost took the lead before the break when Stefan Broccoli’s strike was tipped onto the post by Lewis Gwilliams.

The hosts continued to push early in the second half and Hilton’s curling drive had Duggan sprawling, but just cleared the bar.

The Spalding number one also had to make a routine stop to deny Brogan, before the visitors grabbed the lead slightly against the run of play.

It was Flitton, just on as a sub, who drove an effort across goal, past Gwilliams and into the corner.

With time running out, the Tulips sensed another victory but were denied when Brogan’s cross found the head of Smith, who buried his effort into the roof of the net to earn the hosts a point that they perhaps deserved.

The Tulips are back on the road on Tuesday night as they visit Ilkeston Town (7.45pm).

Tulips: Duggan, Yala, Hugo (Flitton), Clarke, Cartwright, Ward, Macleod, Bucciero, Smith, Broccoli (Price), Assombalonga. Not used: Goff, Floyd, Baker.

Attendance: 169.

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