FOOTBALL: Tulips being punished for their success – Rayment

CONCERNED: Pat Rayment feels his side will be among those punished for their success. Photo: SG140913-119TW
CONCERNED: Pat Rayment feels his side will be among those punished for their success. Photo: SG140913-119TW

Pat Rayment has revealed the only thing capable of derailing Spalding United’s stellar season...the insanity of the United Counties League fixture list.

Having seen his side win an amazing 15 of their 16 games in all competitions this season – including all ten of their UCL Premier Division matches – Rayment has total confidence in his side.

But, not for the first time, he’s voiced his concerns over the price the Tulips will pay for having success on all fronts.

“I’m going to have another moan I’m afraid,” joked the Spalding supremo. “There really is no consideration for teams that do well in other competitions.

“I’m not just talking about us, I feel for AFC Rushden and Diamonds too. They’ll be playing Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday like we had to last year – just because they’ve done the league proud in the FA Cup.

“Another mid-week has gone by where we’ve not had the chance to play a game. It’s beyond a joke.

“When the FA Vase kicks in we’ll be way behind, while others – like Kempston for example – will have played more than half of their games.

“And we’ve not even touched on the winter weather, or any silly situations that tend to happen in this league.

“Last year we had a game called off because Blackstones had a Christmas party in their club house. I mean, what’s that all about? There’s just no logic to any of it.

“I genuinely think that these ridiculous fixture problems are our main threat to winning things this year.”

On the pitch, the next team in Spalding’s way are a much-improved Yaxley side.

Brett Whaley’s Cuckoos are Saturday’s visitors at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field (3pm) and arrive fifth in the UCL Premier Division.

Rayment laughed as he remembered the duo’s three meetings last term, having recalled blasting their perceived negative tactics in the Spalding Guardian.

He added: “I wonder where they’ll park the bus this time!

“Joking aside, Brett has them playing well and the league reflects that. It’ll be interesting to see how they approach the game.”

The Tulips have no fresh injury concerns, with defender Jamie Stevens still available. His three-game ban kicks in after Tuesday’s home clash with Boston Town (7.45pm).

They go into the game having not conceded a league goal in an remarkable 873 minutes.