MATCH VERDICT AND VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Spalding United leave it late to extend lead

Bradley Wells heads home to make it 2-1. Photos by Tim Wilson
Bradley Wells heads home to make it 2-1. Photos by Tim Wilson
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Spalding United 3 Rugby Town 1
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Patience was finally rewarded as Spalding United moved four points clear at the top of the table.

The Tulips left it late but the big question is can anyone stop their unbeaten run?

Basement boys Rugby Town threatened to pinch a point when Jake Woolley’s free-kick cancelled out the opener from Jenk Acar.

But when you need a goal, Spalding have got the man who always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

Bradley Wells made it 13 goals in 11 games by nodding home with six minutes left.

Substitute Rees Longville-Daley’s second touch made it 3-1 in stoppage-time as the Tulips took full advantage of defeats for closest rivals Shaw Lane and Newcastle Town.

Another dominant display should have put Spalding in complete control without any need for those late strikes to secure three points.

From start to finish, they were on top as you would have expected.

Wells had a couple of early efforts, Andy Wright was denied by goalkeeper Louis Connor while Acar, Jordan Lemon and Nathan Whitehead missed the target.

Duggan kept out a long-range speculative attempt by Edi Appleton but Rugby were struggling to hold on.

Jenk Acar breaks the deadlock

Jenk Acar breaks the deadlock

In the absence of banned midfielder Matt Varley, the responsibility for long throw-ins went to Lemon who tried to find Nathan Stainfield for flick-ons.

However, their team-mates couldn’t find a finishing touch as too often they waited for the ball to arrive instead of making things happen.

As well as calling for some patience, Dave Frecklington’s message was clear – play at a good tempo and produce more quality in the final third.

But everyone inside the ground must have thought the Tulips would break the deadlock when Whitehead’s effort was pushed onto the bar and Wells had a free header which he put over from two yards out!

After the break, Duggan denied David Kolodynski as he pounced on a terrible back-pass by James Cullingworth from the halfway line.

Wright, Acar and Wells had shots blocked but eventually the opening goal came.

Wright’s 20-yard drive was pushed out but Lemon’s throw found Acar who poked home at the far post.

Acar went close again but when Lemon lost possession in the centre circle and then Kolodynski won a free-kick on the corner of the penalty box, Woolley fired inside the near post.

Kolodynski was kept out again by Duggan after Neal Spafford’s error.

But a change of system paid off as Wright delivered a free-kick for Wells to nod in and then Longville-Daley’s clinical finish wrapped it up.

SPALDING UNITED

4-2-3-1: Duggan 7; Lemon 8, Spafford 7, Stainfield 7, Walker 7; Cullingworth 7 (sub Lockie 72 mins), Whitehead 7; Acar 7, Downey 7, Wright 7; Wells 7 (sub Longville-Daley 90 mins). Subs not used: Field, Vince.

RUGBY TOWN

3-1-4-2: Connor; Palmer, Fishwick, Appleton; Gomes; Moran (sub Walker 54 mins), O’Callaghan, Bukasa, Stringfellow; Kolodynski, Woolley (sub Akobeto 81 mins). Subs not used: Print, Bolton, Bodycote.

REFEREE

Martin Chester.

GOALS

Acar (56 mins, 1-0); Woolley (72 mins, 1-1); Wells (84 mins, 2-1); Longville-Daley (90 mins, 3-1).

BOOKINGS

Fishwick, Stringfellow (fouls).

ATTENDANCE

148

STAR MAN

Jordan Lemon – another highly impressive display at right-back.

ENTERTAINMENT

★★★

WHO’S NEXT

Chasetown (A) – Saturday.