IT was going to happen eventually; we have finally lost to Spennymoor Town in a meaningful game. Considering the upper hand we’ve held over our friends from DL16 for the last six or so years, at some point the tables were going to turn although it doesn’t make the defeat any easier to swallow.

Considering the differential in resources available to the two sides is probably at the greatest it has been since our local rivalry began, there was actually very little to separate the two sides on the pitch and as such there were positives to take away in defeat.

While money seems to be no object for Spenny, our own resources have been squeezed and squeezed again and although our starting XI performed admirably against that of our visitors, the quality on the bench they could call upon was where the two sides have really diverged over the past 12 months or so.

With Tommy having to shift his side around to find an alternative approach to his front line in the second half, Jason Ainsley had the luxury utilising Adam Boyes and Shaun Tuton to break the game up with late substitutions. I’m a fully signed up member of the Glen Taylor fan club. The guy is an excellent striker but the reality for which I am slightly envious is that either Boyes or Tuton would provide an immediate upgrade to our front line. It really was a tale of the haves and have nots.

Pity aside, we didn’t do a great deal wrong. The first half in particular, we dictated the play and most importantly kept Spenny’s prolific attack at bay. Our three centre halves were an aerial match for Taylor and our midfield two (or maybe 2.5 when Jordan Nicholson dropped a bit deeper) handled Spenny’s three reasonably well.

Meanwhile, Luke Trotman seemed to carry a decent threat down the right and Stephen Thompson looked lively. Unfortunately, the one battle I really fancied us winning - Harvey Saunders having a foot race with James Curtis - never materialised. We deserved our lead at the break and it felt like we had something to build on.

Sadly, Spenny stepped things up a bit in the second half. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think they were particularly sensational but they looked like they could grind us down and that’s what they did. I’ve seen a lot of comments about how poor the referee was and he certainly wasn’t the greatest by any stretch, but I felt it was Spenny’s additional strength and subtle pace which ultimately led to the number of fouls we conceded during the second half. Their first goal was simply stunning. Their second was less so with a question mark over the goalkeeper needing to be answered when I get around to watching the highlights.

Despite defeat, it is really hard to complain. Every player put a reasonable shift in, but we lost to a more experienced side which was more streetwise than us.

They knew how to get back in to the game even if they weren’t that great and then they knew how to defend their lead.

Hopefully, our youngsters won’t be too disheartened by the defeat, especially when they have the chance to work out some kinks against what will likely be a young Hartlepool United side before we head over to Curzon Ashton on Saturday, a game that feels very winnable.