SPALDING UNITED 3 (Smith 60, Farden 80, Mowbray 85) COGENHOE UNITED 0: SPALDING signed off their 2011 Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field schedule in style on Saturday.
Second-half strikes from Greg Smith, Troy Farden and Simon Mowbray were enough to shake off Cogenhoe in the Tulips’ final home game of the year, as they extended their unbeaten run to four games.
It didn’t all go to plan for the hosts, though. Boss Andy Stanhope was sent from the dugout at half-time after venting his frustration at referee A Griffiths, following two “leg-breaking” challenges on his players.
Stanhope said: “The tackles I saw had no place on a football field and I let the referee know about it.
“The ref didn’t like what I said and asked me to sit in the stand, which was fine.
“I’ll do anything to protect my players. I’m not saying he was biased, he was just a poor referee.
“That was all the team-talk my lads needed and they were great in the second half.
“It wasn’t a brilliant display, but confidence is now high in the camp.”
In the early stages Cogenhoe’s Courtney Herbert tested Nick Conroy with a well-struck low drive and Callum Earls came to the rescue with a goalline clearance, while at the other end Tom James was inches off target after receiving a telling pass from Ben Good.
The Cooks’ Matt Gearing then fired high over the home bar with the goal at his mercy, before the Tulips enjoyed their best period in the final 15 minutes of the half.
A good four-man build-up ended with the hard-working Jake Thompson shooting inches wide of a post, while Good headed over the bar.
After Stanhope’s ‘chat’ with the referee, his side came out fired up in the second period.
The deadlock was broken on the hour when Smith – playing on the right of a three-man attack – rose highest at the far post to head in a perfect cross from JP Duncliffe.
Now enjoying the lion’s share of possession, the Tulips wore Cogenhoe down and increased on 80 minutes with a shot of pure perfection from Farden, who steered the ball just inside the.
Five minutes later the scoring was complete. James’ free kick was pushed onto the bar by keeper Dean, Love but the alert Mowbray followed up to convert the rebound.
Spalding’s next game is at Peterborough Northern Star on Boxing Day.
Tulips: Conroy, Duncliffe, Earls, Thompson, Fuff, Ashton, Mowbray, Farden (Harris 86), Smith (O’Loughlin 88), Good, James. Not used: Lyon, Hussey.
Reeves Tyres MOTM: Smith