FOOTBALL: Tulips end 2013 in typical style

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DESBOROUGH TOWN 2 SPALDING UNITED 6: Yet another hat-trick from Andrew Tidswell helped Spalding United conclude 2013 with a typically emphatic UCL Premier Division victory.

Tidswell took his tally for the season to an amazing 38 goals with strikes on 22, 85 and 90 minutes at Desborough on Saturday as the Tulips maintained their 13-point lead at the top of the table.

The treble is the leading scorer’s fourth of an incredible campaign – and he now has 30 league goals to his name.

Skipper Jamie Stevens had earlier opened the scoring on 12 minutes, with a Dan Cotton double (23 and 76) wrapping up the scoring.

There was a rare blot on Spalding’s copybook though, with two uncharacteristic errors from keeper Michael Duggan allowing Michael Byrne (67 and 74) to bag a brace for the hosts.

Despite the impressive scoreline, Tulips chief Pat Rayment was tough on his side after the match.

“It should have been another Boston Town (12-0),” he told the Free Press. “We missed an outrageous amount of chances to be honest.

“Andrew Tidswell could easily have had six goals by himself.

“Michael Duggan also gifted them two goals, which was disappointing. It’s a tough one for him, though.

“It’s more of a concentration thing for him, as he often doesn’t have much to do.

“But I can’t be too critical. We’ve got maximum points from our two Christmas games and go into 2014 in a very healthy position.”

Indeed, Spalding will have rarely in their history gone into the start of a new year with brighter horizons.

Having won all but one of their 22 UCL Premier Division games, they are 13 points clear of the chasing pack. The Tulips have scored 76 goals, shipping just eight.

They also have quarter finals of both the Lincs FA Senior Trophy (at Stamford on January 14) and the UCL Knockout Cup (home against Boston Town on January 21) to look forward to.

Rayment added: “As a manager, you dream about this kind of season. I’ve said it before, but all of the credit goes to the lads. I’m hard on them sometimes, but they all work very hard and are reaping the rewards they deserve.”

Meanwhile, Rayment has confirmed that potential moves for Rob Hughes and Dan Lawlor have been shelved.

Tulips: Duggan, Bore, Jackson, Stevens, Fairweather, Hall, Cotton, Webb, Jones, Tidswell, Thurlbourne (Beeson).