FOOTBALL: ‘Credit to Rushden,’ says Pat

Jamie Stevens blasts home Spalding's goal.

Jamie Stevens blasts home Spalding's goal.

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Spalding manager Pat Rayment has congratulated AFC Rushden and Diamonds after the Northamptonshire side became the first team to take points off the Tulips this season.

“I must give credit and congratulations to Rushden and their fans,” Rayment said this morning.

“They turned out in numbers to support their team and games like this are what it’s all about. It was like a top end FA Vase game.

“I was pleased with how we played after the break. We had a right go at them and we had the better chances.

“They kept four at the back against ten men which shows the respect they have for us but things didn’t go for us and it just wasn’t our day.

“It was a game of two halves and we won the second half 1-0 with ten men.

“But we never got going in the first half, especially after losing Nathan Stainfield. We lost Chris Hall on the morning of the match too.”

Rayment was eager not to look at the dismissal as an excuse but did have harsh words for referee Andrew Humphries: “He was the only one in the ground who thought that Russ Dunkley was in a goalscoring position.

“It was a stonewall penalty but never should have been a sending off.

“He also booked Jamie Stevens late on for a perfectly good tackle, so when we play Desborough on December 28 both my centre backs will be suspended unfairly.”