Stainfield was a rock in the Tulips’ defence

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They scored a stunning 122 goals in the league (54 at home and 68 away) and five different players reached double figures, with only Huntingdon Town’s 2-0 win in the Tulips’ penultimate away game preventing Pat Rayment’s side an impressive record of scoring in every league game.

But while the likes of Andy Tidswell quite rightly made the headlines on a regular basis, it was central defender Nathan Stainfield who picked up the most man-of-the-match awards.

Stainfield and skipper Jamie Stevens - a summer addition from last season’s champions Holbeach - were a formidable central defensive partnership as the Tulips conceded just 22 league goals. Stainfield, who joined from Boston United, picked up eight man-of-the-match awards - double the number any other Spalding player received.

He also made more starts than any other player, 46 in all competitions which was one more than Adam Jackson who enjoyed an excellent campaign.

Rayment said: “Nathan was a colossus for us at the back. He was head-and-shoulders above anyone else in the division and he’s good in the air so he also scored a few goals,”

Jackson impressed after joining from Holbeach but has turned down a new contract for next season.

Rayment can’t speak highly about him, though, sayin: “Adam did brillianly for me and proved a lot of people wrong. Some people were telling me he would never do more than warm the bench but he played nearly every game and he played consistently well. Almost every week you can guarantee he will give you a seven out of 10 performance.”

Four players picked up four man-of-the-match awards in the league, including Tidswell - despite him starting just one since the turn of the year due to a pelvic condition that has required injections.

Rayment predicted at the start of the season that Tidswell would reach 50 goals and he banged them in at a rate of more than a goal per game - scoring 28 times in 20 league outings.

Any team would miss someone of Tidswell’s quality but Rayment was delighted with the way his side coped without their leading scorer,

Tidswell netted 38 in all competitions even though he started only 27 games to the delight of his boss. Rayment said: “He was well on the way to reaching that 50-goal target until his condition ruled him out, Given that he scored that many goals despite missing a lot of games, and only being 70 per cent fit when he did play, makes me think he’d have got 60-70 if fully fit.

“He has that knack of being in the right place at the right time but the great thing about this squad is they they create so many chances and even when ‘Tids’ was out it didn’t take the other lads long to cotton on and start getting into the sort of positions he used to get into.”

Lee Beeson, who weighed in with several important goals, was one of those to get four man-of-the-match awards along with Chris Hall, who Rayment describes as the best midfielder in the UCL.

Tough-tackling midfielder Lewis Webb, one of the most vocal players in the dressing room and an asset to the club having twice skippered St Neots to the title, was also the star man on four occasions and Tulips’ fans must hope he and Hall both agree new deals as the club look to build on a superb season.

Man-of-the-match awards (league only): Nathan Stainfield 8; Lee Beeson 4; Chris Hall 4; Andy Tidswell 4; Lewis Webb 4; Danny Steadman 3; Mark Jones 2; Jamie Thurlbourne 2; Tony Battersby 1; Dan Cotton 1; Andy Jackson 1; Ross Watson.