MATCH VERDICT: Top quality from Spalding United ace Wells

Bradley Wells
Bradley Wells
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Loughborough Dynamo 0 Spalding United 3

The post-match noise from the away dressing room summed up how much it meant to get back to winning ways.

Music was blaring out as the celebrations started in style for Spalding United’s squad and management team.

After picking up one point from five games last month, the Tulips simply had to fight back.

Top scorer Bradley Wells stepped forward with two more goals – including a stunning strike into the top corner – and a far-post finish by Nathan Whitehead made it 3-0.

For an hour, relegation-threatened Loughborough Dynamo matched Spalding who couldn’t create clear-cut chances.

However as soon as the deadlock had been broken, there was no doubt about the result.

Wells headed home Paul Walker’s right-wing cross and just six minutes later, the lead was doubled in style.

Adam Jackson’s corner was not cleared but when the ball fell to Wells on the edge of the penalty box, there seemed to be little danger. Yet he turned sharply and smashed in a left-foot drive.

Whitehead tucked away a free-kick by Mitch Griffiths and Dynamo knew there was no way back.

Spalding had a big bonus of finally giving a league debut to Brad Barraclough as Wells’ strike partner.

Wells’ work-rate in those closing stages – chasing the ball and putting defenders under more pressure – was an example of the energy put in by the Tulips.

They won’t be allowed to take it easy and, even if the promotion challenge doesn’t quite happen, it certainly won’t be down to a lack of effort.

There will be some much tougher tests but this was a must-win game where the result was more important than the performance.

Jordan Ball was off target twice for Loughborough in the early exchanges and Sam Saunders nodded over.

Spalding stayed on level terms thanks to a top-class save from Michael Duggan who tipped out a long-range shot by Jared Holmes.

Whitehead had brought an easy save at the other end and Nathan Stainfield fired too high.

Wells saw a 20-yard free-kick pushed over but the key moment came from a tactical switch.

Charlie Gatter came into midfield, Whitehead moved forward to support Wells and 20 minutes later it was game over with a three-goal lead. A case of job done.

LOUGHBOROUGH DYNAMO

3-5-2: Sharpe; Guest, Saunders, Keenan; Oldham, Ball, Gray (sub Durkin 74 mins), Holmes (sub Robinson-Jones 85 mins), Beckett; Demidh, Arnold. Subs not used: Wallace, Freestone.

SPALDING UNITED

4-4-2: Duggan 7; Walker 7, Spafford 7, Stainfield 7, Jackson 7; Higginson 6 (sub Lockie 65 mins, 6), Whitehead 7, Varley 7 (sub Barraclough 77 mins), Griffiths 7; Wightwick 6 (sub Gatter 54 mins, 7), Wells 8. Subs not used: Field, Moyses.

REFEREE

Bradley Hall.

GOALS

Wells (62 mins, 0-1); Wells (68 mins, 0-2); Whitehead (74 mins, 0-3).

BOOKINGS

Saunders, Keenan, Jackson, Guest, Gatter (fouls); Higginson (unsporting behaviour).

ATTENDANCE

84

STAR MAN

Bradley Wells – the top scorer stepped forward again when the Tulips really needed someone to take responsibility. His second goal into the top corner was simply magnificent.

ENTERTAINMENT

★★★

WHO’S NEXT

Market Drayton Town (H) – Saturday.