Spalding United and Holbeach United both gave their fans early Christmas presents with emphatic UCL Premier Division wins on Saturday.
The Tulips cruised to a 4-0 Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field victory over Newport Pagnell Town, while the Tigers chalked up an impressive 5-0 Carter’s Park success over Long Buckby.
Starting with Spalding, goals from Sam Mullarkey (10 & 75), Lewis Webb (31) and leading scorer Andrew Tidswell (33) made it 19 wins from 20 league games for Pat Rayment’s side.
After a quiet opening, the Tulips burst into life on ten minutes when a classy piece of ball juggling from Tidswell outside of the box released Mullarkey, who drilled a low effort into the net from ten yards.
Mullarkey was involved in the second goal too, battling hard to retrieve the ball before feeding Webb on the left. The midfielder had options in the middle, but instead smashed a fierce low effort into the far corner from a challenging angle.
Not done there, Tidswell – playing out of position in midfield – made it 3-0 moments later with a classy curling finish from the edge of the box.
A stunning string of saves from Pagnell keeper Martin McIntyre kept the score down after the break, while Mark Jones clattered a near-post drive off the post and Jamie Stevens rattled the bar from a corner.
But the visiting stopper did let a Mullarkey strike sneak through his legs 15 minutes from time, as Spalding went ten points clear at the top of the table in typical style.
They now look forward to a Boxing Day duel with second-placed Deeping Rangers at the Sir Halley (3pm). Deeping go into the game without Josh Moreman, who signed for higher-graded Kettering Town on Friday.
Meanwhile, Holbeach bounced back from Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Spalding with a five-star showing against Long Buckby.
Tom Sergeant led the charge with a double, while Tommy Treacher, Andy Law and Adam Rothery also got in on the act at Carter’s Park.
The win moves Glen Maddison’s men back ahead of Peterborough Northern Star and into ninth in the table. They are now just three points behind seventh-placed Wisbech Town, who they visit on Boxing Day (also 3pm).
Down a level in UCL Division One, Bourne Town were handed a 3-1 home reverse by Lutterworth Athletic. That leaves Darren Munton’s Wakes in 20th place ahead of their Boxing Day game at Harrowby United (3pm).
In the ChromaSport Peterborough League, Gavin McPartlin’s 35th-minute strike was enough to give Crowland Town a 1-0 derby win at Pinchbeck United in the Premier Division.
Moulton Harrox and Deeping Rangers Reserves both hit four goals in the top flight, seeing off Stilton United (4-0) and Coates Athletic (4-1) respectively.
Long Sutton Athletic cruised to a 5-0 home success over Farcet United in Division One, while Holbeach United Reserves and Moulton Harrox Reserves battled out a thrilling 3-3 draw.
More football in Thursday’s joint edition of the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian. Remember, there will be no paper on Tuesday.
• UCL Premier Division: (Friday): Yaxley 2 Huntingdon Town 2. (Saturday): Boston Town 2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1; Holbeach United 5 Long Buckby 0; Spalding United 4 Newport Pagnell Town 0.
• UCL Division One: Bourne Town 1 Lutterworth Athletic 3; Northampton ON Chenecks 3 Bugbrooke St Michaels 2; Northampton Spencer 1 Potton United 0; Oadby Town 2 Raunds Town 0; Woodford United 0 Blackstones 5.
• ChromaSport Peterborough League: Premier Division: Deeping Rangers Res 4 Coates Athletic 1; Leverington Sports 4 Oakham United 2; Pinchbeck United 0 Crowland Town 1; Ramsey Town 1 King’s Lynn Town Res 3; Stilton United 0 Moulton Harrox 4; Whittlesey Blue Star 0 Netherton United 6; Whittlesey United 1 Riverside Football Club 1.
Division One: Langtoft United 2 Ketton 2; Long Sutton Athletic 5 Farcet Utd 0; Moulton Harrox Res 3 Holbeach United Res 3; Peterborough Sports Res 2 Peterborough ICA Sports Res 3; Ryhall United 3 Sutton Bridge Utd 0; Stamford Belvedere 2 Netherton United Res 0; Thorney 3 AFC Stanground 2.
Division Two: Baston 2 Pinchbeck United Res 4; Coates Athletic Res 1 Langtoft United Res 2; Gedney Hill 3 Oundle Town 3; Oakham United Res 3 Long Sutton Athletic Res 2; Peterborough ICA Sports A 1 Guyhirn 3; Peterborough Rovers 2 Leverington Sports Res 1.
Division Three: Farcet United Res 1 Parkside 5; Ketton Reserves 6 Kings Cliffe Res 3; Netherton United A 4 Sawtry Res 1; Ryhall United Res 3 Stilton United Res 2; Uppingham Town Res 2 Thorney Res 2; Wittering 7 Riverside Reserves 0.
Division Four: AFC Peterborough 3 Stamford Belvedere Res 1; Glinton United 2 Pinchbeck United A 1; Peterborough Sports A 1 Spalding Town 1; Sutton Bridge United Res 2 Hampton Sport 9; Warboys Town Reserves 5 Leverington Sports A 2.
Division Five: Bretton North End 8 Tydd St Mary Res 3; Eye United 5 Gaultree 1; Oundle Town Reserves 4 Huntingdon Sun 2; Parkway Eagles Res 3 Parkside Athletic Res 3; Rutland DR 0 Powerleague FC 7; Whaplode Drove 0 Thorpe Wood Rangers 2.
• Boston & District League: Premier Division: Billinghay Athletic 5 Mareham Utd 1; Fishtoft 5 Benington 2; Kirton Town 2 Wyberton 6; Pointon 5 Swineshead Institute 5; Skegness Town Res 0 Spilsby Town 1.
Division One: Coningsby 3 Billinghay Ath Res 2; Freiston Res 3 Skegness Utd Res 5; Rippingale & Folkingham 4 Pointon Res 1; Sutterton 2 Fosdyke 3; Woohdall Spa United 2 Wainfleet Utd 1; Wyberton Res 5 Ruskington Rovers 2.
Division Two: Holbeach Bank 1 Spalding Harriers 4; Leverton 1 Friskney 4.
Mareham Utd Res 0 Coningsby Res 0; Swineshead Res 12 (twelve) Nelson 0; Westside Rangers 2 Fishtoft Res 3.
Division Three: Benington Res 2 FC Hammers 2; Boston College 6 AFC Tetford 2; FC Kirton OFF Holbeach Bank Res (postponed, Holbeach Bank unable to raise a team); Pointon A v Sutterton Res (postponed, waterlogged pitch).