FOOTBALL: “We could have scored seven or eight”

The Yaxley keeper was lucky to be booked after taking out Andy Tidswell.
The Yaxley keeper was lucky to be booked after taking out Andy Tidswell.

Spalding manager Pat Rayment is in buoyant mood after his team’s 4-1 win at Yaxley on Saturday - despite losing two more players.

Rayment said today: “We could have won by seven or eight really. Michael Duggan has gifted them a goal by running out like that, but they didn’t really get another chance.

“I think Michael must have been bored and looking for something to do!

“It’s a bit of a blow losing Mark Jones to suspension for three games though. He had been having a battle with Wayne Morris all afternoon and you can’t go in with challenges like that these days. He will miss the game against Rushden and Diamonds and the FA Vase game, but Sam Mullarkey is a great replacement.

“Lee Cannoville will also miss a lot of games with his injury. But I am not so concerned there because Peter Bore can come in and do a fantastic job.”

Yaxley 1, Spalding United 4

Spalding equalled Long Buckby’s United Counties League record of winning their first 16 games of the season as they came from behind on Saturday.

And four more wins from Pat Rayment’s unstoppable Tulips would smash Wisbech’s long-standing achievement of 20 consecutive UCL wins.

Andrew Tidswell maintained his rich goalscoring form at Leading Drove as his second half double took his tally for the season so far to 30.

The Cuckoos are having a good season themselves and Spalding had to come from behind to extend their record breaking run. But with total domination and much hard work in the second half they were very worthy winners.

The returning Jamie Thurlbourne, back after spending time at Newmarket Town, was an instrumental figure down the left side with some tricky footwork and penetrating crosses into the Yaxley area.

It was he who cancelled out Jamie Graham’s 18th minute goal for the home team, by scoring direct from a 30-yard free kick which he despatched low and accurately in the 34th minute.

He had narrowly missed opening the scoring after just four minutes when Andy Tidswell collected a Mark Jones pass and whipped the ball towards goal, with the winger just inches away from making contact.

At the other end Michael Duggan managed to smother the ball just short of his line in a goalmouth scramble. As the Tulips broke quickly skipper Lee Canoville, who limped out of the game in the 25th minute with knee ligament damage, grazed the home bar with a stinging shot.

However, the Tulips’ defence was split wide open in the 18th minute and former Holbeach striker Graham ghosted past players to beat Duggan, who had rushed off his line, with a crisp finish.

Yaxley were fortunate to not have keeper Aaron Butcher red-carded in the 30th minute when, as last man, he raced out of his area to send Tidswell flying with a full blooded body check when the striker was poised to shoot. But his only punishment from referee Brian O’Sullivan was a yellow card.

The Tulips quickly took control of the second half and missed out on three occasions before Tidswell put them into the lead in the 64th minute with a trademark finish from Adam Jackson’s precision cross.

The lead was increased in the 83rd minute with Mark Jones connecting at the far post from another of Thurlbourne’s super left side crosses. Jones, though, blotted his copy book just two minutes later with a two footed challenge that resulted in a straight red card.

Yaxley’s demise was complete in the fourth minute of added time when the industrious Lewis Webb slipped the ball through for the prolific Tidswell to score.

Spalding: Duggan, Canoville (Hall 25 mins), Jackson, Stevens, Stainfield, Webb, Cotton, Steadman, Jones, Tidswell, Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): Mullarkey, Lowery, Robinson, Roberts.