Mark Jones jumped off the bench to inspire Spalding United to a 3-0 UCL Premier Division victory over rivals Deeping Rangers on Boxing Day.
The ex-Deeping striker, who replaced Sam Mullarkey at half-time, notched on 49 and 55 minutes before Andrew Tidswell (69) rounded off the scoring with his 35th goal of the season.
That leaves the Tulips 13 points clear of second-placed Rangers in the race for the title and made it 20 league wins from 21 games for Pat Rayment’s side.
Deeping perhaps shaded a tight first 45 minutes, but the hosts did fashion the best chance when Tidswell got in behind the defence before seeing his strike superbly saved by James Doughty.
It was Jones’ introduction that changed the game. He buried a close-range header from Dan Cotton’s corner to make it 1-0 to Spalding, before netting a superb individual goa six minutes later.
The striker beat a few men down the left before squeezing home a fine finish past Doughty at the near post.
It went from bad to worse for Deeping when a late tackle from Mitch Griffiths on Adam Jackson earned the talented winger a second yellow card on the hour.
If it wasn’t already game over, Tidswell swept home a Cotton cross from close range to wrap up an impressive three points for the Tulips.
Meanwhile, Holbeach United’s trip to Wisbech Town was one of a number of UCL fixtures to be postponed.
Bourne Town’s match at Harrowby United did go ahead, but the Wakes were handed a 6-2 beating. They did take an early lead through Dan Smith, but that was wiped out by ex-Bourne striker Martin Wormall - who went on to bag a brace.
The other goal for the Wakes was notched by George Holliday.
Check www.spaldingtoday.co.uk tomorrow for more on both matches.
UCL Premier Division: Boston Town 2 Sleaford Town 1; Cogenhoe United 6 Northampton Sileby Rangers 1; Newport Pagnell Town 0 AFC Kempston Rovers 1; Spalding United 3 Deeping Rangers 0; Wellingborough Town 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 4.
UCL Division One: Blackstones 3 Peterborough Sports 3; Bugbrooke St Michaels 2 Irchester United 1; Harrowby United 6 Bourne Town 2; Lutterworth Athletic 3 Oadby Town 6; Olney Town 0 Buckingham Town 2; St Neots Town Saints 2 Eynesbury Rovers 1; Thrapston Town 2 Burton Park Wanderers 2; Wellingborough Whitworth 0 Rushden and Higham United 1.