MATCH VERDICT: Wonderful win for Spalding United

Bradley Wells
Bradley Wells
  • Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South - Leek Town 0 Spalding United 4
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A stunning start sent out a clear message to those teams aiming to join Spalding United in the play-off pack.

The Tulips have been pushing for promotion all season in the top three – and they are not prepared to throw it all away.

Third place would mean home advantage in the semi-final and Spalding remain on course to achieve that.

They would have been quite happy to take one point from Saturday’s trip to Leek Town and maintain the gap.

A wonderful win came with four goals before the break to send the Blues crashing to a fifth successive defeat.

While the Staffordshire side’s play-off dreams seem to be fading, Spalding are keeping their hopes very much alive and kicking.

Nathan Whitehead

Nathan Whitehead

They could even afford to leave on-loan striker Leon Mettam on the bench as there was no need to take any risk in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Bradley Wells led the line superbly – claiming his 25th goal of the season and another assist just two minutes later.

He beat the offside trap to collect Lee Beeson’s pass and coolly slot past goalkeeper Ben Chapman.

Left-back Adam Jackson knocked the ball down the left wing, Wells found space behind the home defence and squared for Jordan Lemon to double the advantage with a tap-in.

Nathan Whitehead marked his return from suspension with a sensational 25-yard right-foot volley into the top corner of the net against one of his former clubs.

Jenk Acar nipped in behind Darren Chadwick to poke the ball past Chapman as he made it 4-0.

Wells was tripped inside the box by Toby Mullarkey but Beeson’s second-half penalty was pushed onto the bar by Chapman.

Beeson was denied again and Wells fired over but the game had been effectively ended as a contest by three goals in a seven-minute spell.

Spalding’s unbeaten start to the season was ended when Mullarkey headed home the only goal in mid-October.

This time, the Tulips made no mistake by taking another step towards the play-offs.

LEEK TOWN

4-1-3-2: Chapman; Smith, Mullarkey, Chadwick (sub Faulkner 44 mins), Morris; Beaumont; France, Maguire, Stevenson (sub Higham 62 mins); Grice, Budrys. Subs not used: Danylyk, Williams, Grimshaw.

SPALDING UNITED

4-4-1-1: Duggan 7; Walker 7, Miller 7 (sub Field 75 mins), Stainfield 8, Jackson 7; Lemon 8, Beeson 7, Varley 7 (sub Downey 66 mins, 6), Acar 7 (sub Higginson 56 mins, 6); Whitehead 8; Wells 8. Sub not used: Mettam.

REFEREE

Wade Smith.

GOALS

Wells (25 mins, 0-1); Lemon (27 mins, 0-2); Whitehead (31 mins, 0-3); Acar (44 mins, 0-4).

BOOKINGS

Jackson, France (fouls).

ATTENDANCE

234

STAR MAN

Bradley Wells – scored the opening goal, got an assist two minutes later and won a second-half penalty. Led the line without a strike partner.

ENTERTAINMENT

★★★

WHO’S NEXT

Stocksbridge Park Steels (A) – Saturday.