A point was enough to secure safety for Sleaford Town in the UCL Premier League, with the addition of a familiar face firming up the middle of the park.
Town announced the signing of Terry Fleming, former Lincoln City captain and manager, who Town player/manager Kris Jones said made an immediate impact in midfield as he was introduced into the first team for Saturday’s match against Yaxley.
He had been brought in for the club’s final two games, and Jones hopes he will be coerced into joining the club on a more permanent basis next season as part of the management team.
Man of the moment Liam Tunstall put Town ahead on 70 minutes, taking his tally for the season to 23 goals, but the shine was slightly taken off the day when Jones was sent off late on in the match and Yaxley scored a last-gasp equaliser, but nonetheless Town can go into the final game safe in the knowledge that they will be in the Premier League next season.
Jones said: “It was a good performance and we looked solid until we were down to 10 men, now the result means we can look forward to the new season. It was a good positive result and it gives people the chance to breathe a sigh of relief now that we are safe.”
The draw puts Sleaford three points clear of the drop zone and boosted up to 17th place on goal difference, level on points with 18th placed Harborough (who played one of their two games in hand last night) and with just a trip to AFC Kempston Rovers left to play on Saturday, who currently sit 20th on 35 points.
Town are mathematically safe even if they lose on Saturday as 19th-placed Blackstones have now finished their season with 36 points.
Jones and fellow newly-appointed boss Brian Rowland are targeting three final points to finish the season on a high. They are already looking ahead to next season, and Jones confirmed that they have plans to bring in new players to strengthen the side, so that they won’t be in a relegation dog fight again:
“We’ve been strugglers for the last two seasons and we don’t want to be in that position again, we want a long term plan with the resources available. We want to push the club forward in the future.
“We are looking at a few players to sign next season, we want to bring in some talent from around the town as well as bringing in players already playing at high standards and young, up-and-coming talent.
“When you look at it, two games ago we were in the bottom two and looking precarious, which is when the chairman acted as he did. It is the togetherness of the squad which has helped us to stay up.
“We want to finish in as high a position as possible and get three more points to finish higher up the league.”
Jones also wishes the Sleaford Town Reserves all the best for their Cup Final match against Lincoln on Saturday: “They’ve had a fantastic season and have gone from second bottom to 10th place.”