Tulips’ boss Pat Rayment attacked after victory drama

Spalding United boss Pat Rayment who was attacked by a fan at AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday.  ENGANL00120120610165108

Spalding United boss Pat Rayment who was attacked by a fan at AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday. ENGANL00120120610165108

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Spalding boss Pat Rayment was attacked by a Rushden and Diamonds fan following Saturday’s 2-1 victory at the Dog and Duck.

The assault took the shine off the Tulips’ victory, which avenged their only defeat of the season.

Dan Cotton’s winner, in the second of three minutes of added on time, helped Spalding to yet another victory in a glorious season for the UCL Premier Division champions but the talking point was the attack after the game.

Rayment said: “One of their fans punched me in the face for no reason. It was totally unprovoked.

“It took me by surprise and I admit I did retaliate. I threw him to the ground and pinned him down but then people pulled me off him. There were plenty of witnesses to what happened.

“But I don’t what to take it any further. There were no police involved and I certainly don’t want to press charges. I’m big enough to take this sort of thing.

“I wasn’t hurt, although I have got a thick lip. All I ask is that Rushden and Diamonds sort their fans out.

“Some of them, although only a small minority, are idiots.”

Chris Toynton, joint chairman of the club with Eddie Reeve, said: “I saw it happen and I thought the fan was going to shake his hand after such a good game.

“Rushden have apologised and have banned the person who attacked Pat.”

Better news for the Tulips saw local businessman and former Spalding player Malcolm Gray become the club’s chief executive officer with immediate effect.

Toynton, who has been at the helm for more than a decade, will continue as joint chairman alongside Reeve, and they will pass over the control of the day-to-day running of the club to Gray, who spent five years as a player at the club.

Toynton said: “ I am delighted Malcolm Gray has accepted the offer and challenge to take the club forward. He is the right man for the job.”

Gray is already looking forward to the challenge. saying: “Considering the fantastic achievement of the team in winning the league title we have a great opportunity to drive the club forward with strategy and vision and I implore anyone who has something to discuss to come and talk to me in the first instance.

“We are entering an exciting new era and it is vitally important that we all pull together and be as one for the challenge that a new league and a higher level will offer”.