TULIPS: Ford fires Spalding to elusive victory

Top signing: Keeper Nick Conroy kept a clean sheet on his Tulips debut after joining from PNS.
Top signing: Keeper Nick Conroy kept a clean sheet on his Tulips debut after joining from PNS.
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WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN 0 SPALDING UNITED 1 (Ford 70): JOSH Ford jumped off the bench to fire the Tulips to their first UCL Premier Division win of the season on Saturday – and boy did they need it.

The ex-Moulton Harrox goal machine headed home a Simon Mowbray cross superbly to shatter Wellingborough’s unbeaten record at the Dog and Duck.

Having read the riot act to his side after five winless games, this was just the response Spalding boss Andy Stanhope was looking for from his side.

Stanhope was also delighted with the impact of new keeper Nick Conroy, who has replaced Luke McShane as Tulips number one after joining from Peterborough Northern Star.

The Spalding supremo said: “The effort everyone put in was first class and this really is a cracking win.

“I’m not sure Wellingborough are as strong as the table suggests, but it’s a tough place to go.

“For me, Nick Conroy made a massive difference in goal. Danny Hussey and Glen Fuff were also outstanding at the back, I couldn’t have asked for any more from them.

“Obviously Josh has done well to get his goal. He always wants to learn and is coming along nicely at this level.”

Ahead of the clash it looked like a home banker, with the Doughboys winning all four of their games and the Tulips taking just two points from their quartet of fixtures.

The first half was incredibly scrappy, with neither side really registering a decent attempt on goal.

It was a different story after the break, with Spalding attacking with a flourish and defending with much more steel.

Mowbray in particular was looking dangerous, with his sublime crosses a thorn in the side of Wellingborough all afternoon.

And it was from one of those crosses that Ford broke the deadlock 20 minutes from time.He’d only been on the field for ten minutes, having replaced Liam Harrold.

Spalding expect to have at least one more new face in their squad for tonight’s trip to Boston Town (7.45pm).

But they will be without Liam Hook, while JP Duncliffe and Jammal Shahin are both injury doubts.

Stanhope is looking forward to the derby clash – but has warned his players not to get involved in any personal duels.

He added: “I’ve seen Boston this season and they’ll be physical. We need to rise above it and not get involved.”

Tulips: Conroy, Duncliffe, Earls, Fuff, Hussey, French (Thompson 70), Hook, Hughes, O’Loughlin (Shahin 65), Mowbray, Harrold (Ford 60). Not used: Harris, Baker.

• LUKE McShane has become the third player to be released by the Tulips in a week.

He turned out for Peterborough Sports against Netherton at the weekend, but isn’t expected to stay there full time.