Big win puts Tulips into top five

Jamie Stevens
Jamie Stevens

Evo-Stik League First Division South - Brigg Town 1 Spalding United 6

The north-south divide should have been even bigger.

It’s unusual for a manager to be unhappy after an away win which was so comfortable.

Yet such are the standards set by Pat Rayment that he will always demand more from Spalding United’s players.

The Tulips returned to the play-off pack with their first victory on the road since the end of November.

The result was never in doubt at rock-bottom Brigg Town whose boss left an hour before kick-off.

Spalding made the trip north to face Lincolnshire’s oldest football club knowing that everyone expected them to record a huge win.

The first-half display was good enough to go 4-0 up – but after the break Spalding were below average.

They didn’t move the ball around quickly and Zebras keeper Jody Barford was not tested by a series of shots off target.

So it was understandable as Rayment revealed some disappointment that Spalding had not hit double figures.

Brigg – with two points in 24 games – have now conceded 28 times in five matches and they lost 4-1 in Spalding’s first home game of the season.

With three changes from Saturday’s victory over league leaders Sutton Coldfield Town, it took a while for the Tulips to really get going.

They went ahead as Jamie Thurlbourne’s corner found Gregg Smith at the far post and Jamie Stevens smashed in the loose ball.

Smith bundled in from close range five minutes later and he doubled his tally with a blockbuster which went off the underside of the bar and over the line, according to the assistant referee.

Jordan Nuttell set up Jack McGovern to make it 4-0 and Spalding started to pass the ball around confidently.

Smith should have sealed a hat-trick but he struck the bar and this time the ball went to safety.

Lee Clay had an effort ruled out for offside but he did pull one back after Sam Donkin saved the initial effort.

In between, McGovern got Spalding’s fifth goal and Luke Thurlbourne found the far corner of the net with a superb 25-yard drive.

Match stats

BRIGG TOWN

4-4-2: Barford; Peers, Martin, Crozier (sub Revell 59 mins), Cairns (sub Nimmo h-t); Hewitt, Bowsley, Forrester, Collishaw (sub Goodman 83 mins); Plumtree, Clay.

SPALDING UNITED

4-3-1-2: Donkin 6; L Thurlbourne 7, Leary 7, Stevens 7, J Thurlbourne 7; Griffiths 7 (sub Hodge h-t, 7), Hall 7 (sub Simmons 56 mins, 6), Webb 7; McGovern 7; Smith 8, Nuttell 7 (sub Waumsley 65 mins, 6).

REFEREE

Mark Swift.

GOALS

Stevens (14 mins, 0-1); Smith (19 mins, 0-2); Smith (28 mins, 0-3); McGovern (32 mins, 0-4); McGovern (70 mins, 0-5); L Thurlbourne (79 mins, 0-6);

Clay (87 mins, 1-6).

BOOKING

None.

ATTENDANCE

60.

STAR MAN

Gregg Smith – two goals on his return to the Tulips and it should have been a hat-trick. Led the line brilliantly to give that presence up front.

WHO’S NEXT

Market Drayton Town (H) – Saturday.