Spalding United supremo Pat Rayment was happy enough with Saturday’s 2-0 success over Kettering Town – but has admitted he almost had to call the game off due to player unavailability.
The Tulips were just about able to put a team out at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, with the injured Lewis Webb and veteran assistant boss Marcus Ebdon forced to make cameos from the bench.
But Rayment was pleased with what he saw and hopes to have a much stronger squad available for Saturday’s UCL Premier Division opener at home to Northampton Sileby Rangers (3pm).
The Tulips chief said: “I’ll be honest, we almost called it off. In the end, we had players out of position all over the place.
“But it was a good workout for us. Michael Duggan made some great saves and a win over Kettering isn’t to be sniffed at.
“I must say that Jonny Allen and Adam Jackson have been very impressive over pre-season. They’ve really stepped up to the plate since moving from Holbeach and I couldn’t be happier with them.”
Rayment isn’t quite so happy with midfielder Jack McGovern, though.
Having spent pre-season with the Tulips, he has decided to move to higher-graded Coalville Town.
Although he can see the logic in the move, the Spalding boss is disappointed with McGovern’s timing.
“I don’t quite get it,” added the ex-Peterborough United professional. “To do an entire pre-season with us and then leave before the first league game is very strange.
“I was expecting big things from Jack this year and I’m very disappointed to lose him at this stage.
“Coalville are a good side at a higher level and I expect them to be challenging for promotion this season, so I can understand why they’d appeal to a player.
“It’s not his choice that surprises me, just the timing.
“I’m not sure if we’ll look to bring in a new midfielder. There’s an excellent atmosphere in the dressing room and I’m keen not to upset that.”
See Thursday’s Spalding Guardian for a big preview to the start of the new UCL Premier Division season.