Conor Clancy Date: 5th October 2019 at 4:55pm
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STADIO PAOLO MAZZA (Ferrara) – SPAL finally got back to winning ways on Saturday afternoon as they picked up just their second win of the season against Parma.

Home form had become troubling for Leonardo Semplici’s side, having won just one of their previous five at the Paolo Mazza. Andrea Petagna got himself on the scoresheet again though, bringing an end to his own mini drought, and despite playing a portion of the second half with ten men the hosts were able to hang on for three big points.

Gabriel Strefezza had three early chances to give the Ferraresi a lead. His first volley almost hit the corner flag, his second was scuffed wide after great link-up play from Arkadiusz Reca and Sergio Floccari on the left, while his third was the best of the bunch but still fizzed off target.

The lead did come through Petagna with half an hour on the clock. Without a goal in three games, the No.37 was desperate to get back on the scoresheet and he did exactly that with the first chance that fell his way. From the right, Strefezza put in a low cross-shot and Petagna was there to catch it as he ran across goal and sweep into Luigi Sepe’s bottom corner.

Parma had Sepe to thank for them not falling further behind before the break. A ball dropped onto Jasmin Kurtic’s foot 20 yards out and the Slovenian produced a fine volley that looked destined for the bottom corner. Just when he looked beaten though, Sepe stretched low and dug the ball out, scooping it out of harm’s way to pull of one of the saves of the season so far.

Roberto D’Aversa moved things around in the second half. Dejan Kulusevski went off and Juraj Kucka moved up to the attacking three, but Mattia Sprocati’s arrival saw him fall back into midfield. Sprocati and Andreas Cornelius appeared as a front two for a while, Gervinho went to the right and Sprocati went left, but nothing quite brought success.

Strefezza’s busy afternoon came to an early end. He took a dive in Parma’s box midway through the second half and was shown a second yellow card.

Gervinho had the ball in the net for the Gialloblu, but it was ruled out for offside. Cornelius then had a header stopped by Etrit Berisha as Parma tried to press on with their one-man advantage with Roberto Inglese joining the attacking ranks from the bench.

It wasn’t to be another case of a comeback for Parma though, as they couldn’t break down a stubborn SPAL.