Match Preview: Bedworth United vs Spalding United

After consecutive away fixtures, The Greenbacks are back at home this weekend (Saturday 18th March) as Bedworth welcome promotion chasers Spalding United to The Oval. Despite an encouraging performance against table toppers Stamford last weekend, Bedworth United came away from Lincolnshire empty handed, as The Greenbacks fell to a 2-0 defeat. Spalding’s match on Saturday was postponed due to the snow, however The Tulips come into the game with Bedworth in great confidence as they faced league strugglers Daventry Town on Tuesday night. Spalding put in an emphatic performance, coming away with a 9-0 win, with 7 different goal scorers getting on the scoresheet.

Opposition

Spalding United were established in 1905 when Fulney Institute and Victoria merged. Their first match was a 3–1 defeat at Stamford. The club joined the Peterborough & District League and were champions in 1930–31. They then stepped up to the Northamptonshire League, which became the United Counties League in 1934. Prior to World War 1 the club played under the banner of Spalding United having merged in 1905/06 with Fulney Institute following a failed merger with then arch rivals Spalding Town, prior to this the club was known as Spalding Victoria.

Spalding United currently sit in 3rd place in the league, three points behind second place Halesowen Town with a game in hand, giving The Tulips encouragement to put the pressure on Stamford and Halesowen in the remaining games of the season. Spalding are in good form coming into this game, collection 10 points from their last 6 games. Spalding have the best defensive record in the league, conceding just 21 goals in the 30 league games they have played this season. And their defensive record is proven in their current form, keeping 5 clean sheets in their last 6 matches, making them the toughest team to breakdown. The Tulips also have a cup final to look forward to as they face Grantham Town in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup final.

The Manager

Spalding have recently had a change in management. Brett Whaley was surprisingly relieved of his duties on the 6th March and moved quickly to appoint The Tulips current first team striker Elliot Sandy as the interim manager on 7th March. Following his departure, ex manager Whaley tweeted:

Since Brett Whaley’s departure, Sandy has only took control over one game and one he won’t forget in a while, as The Tulips hammered Daventry 9-0 away from home.

Previous encounter

The Greenbacks most recent encounter with Spalding was back in October as Bedworth were denied all three points at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, where The Tulips scored in the 90th minute courtesy of centre back Nathan Stainfield.

Bedworth took the lead through ex frontman Sanderson- Ellis, but were pegged back by now interim manager Elliot Sandy. Desean Martin thought he had won the game for The Greenbacks when the midfielder scored in the 88th minute, but Bedworth were left devasted as Stainfield grabbed an equaliser in the dying moments of the game.

Fans attending the game will hope to see another entertaining encounter between the two sides.

Spalding United’s Famous Face

In this section, we look back over the years of our upcoming opponents former players who might be familiar to fans who know their football. The player may have just played one game or a hundred, this section will briefly look at the career of a former oppositions career. The next player to feature on this section is…

Marcus Maddison

Maddison began his career at Newcastle United, but did not play a senior game for the club. He was signed by Blyth Spartans and St Johnstone, before scoring 13 Conference Premier goals for Gateshead in a 12-month period from August 2013. He was signed by Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee in August 2014. The same year, he was also capped by England C.

After a brief loan spell at Hull City in 2020, Maddison joined Charlton Athletic on a free transfer, but struggled to make consistent appearances and was loaned out to Bolton Wanderers in 2021. After his loan was cut short in April 2021, Maddison announced his decision to quit professional football after expressing his diminished enjoyment in the sport, along with the negative effect his career was having on his wellbeing. He subsequently joined Spalding United.

On 18 May 2021, Maddison joined Spalding United, signed by ex manager and former-Peterborough teammate Gabriel Zakuani. He made his debut on 14 August, scoring in a 2–1 win against Loughborough Dynamo. In February 2022, having previously suffered a possible career ending injury, he set up a GoFundMe in an attempt to fund a surgery in the hopes it would help him continue his career. He reached the target in less than 24 hours.

Maddison is mostly known for his time at Peterborough United where he made 249 appearances and scored 49 goals during his time with The Posh. Overall, he made 326 appearances and scored 82 goals in his career.

How to follow

Kick off is at 3pm at The Oval on Saturday 18th March. Ticket prices are below:

Adults: £10

Concessions: £7

The Oval, Coventry Road, Bedworth, CV12 8NN.

If you aren’t able to make it to the Oval, make sure that you’re following the club on Twitter- @bedworth_united for live updates