TULIPS: Stanhope slams ‘weak’ Spalding

Downbeat: Andy Stanhope was not impressed with his 'weak' Spalding side at St Ives.

Downbeat: Andy Stanhope was not impressed with his 'weak' Spalding side at St Ives.

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ST IVES TOWN 5 (Ellison 20, S Cobb 44, 60 & 68, Washington 62) SPALDING UNITED 0: ANDY Stanhope questioned the mentality of his Spalding side after seeing them slump to a second heavy beating in five days.

A calamitous 25-minute spell before and after half-time put the game way beyond the Tulips, with Stuart Cobb blasting a hat-trick.

The only positive for Spalding was the return of leading scorer Greg Smith – but he had little impact in a toothless team display.

Stanhope said: “I have to question the mentality of the lads, it’s pretty weak. We don’t seem to lose 1-0 – not that we want to – it’s always four or five.

“We’re down to the bare bones at the moment, but the result is not acceptable.”

Former Deeping Rangers skipper Lee Ellison opened St Ives’ account on 20 minutes with a classic far post header.

Tom James went close to levelling soon after, but he fired into the side netting after latching onto Ryan O’Loughlin’s through ball.

But it was 2-0 at the break as Cobb lost marker Smith to beat Nick Conroy from close range.

Cobb’s second was also a close-range effort from a low cross, before leading scorer Conor Washington made it four following a mistake from Callum Earls.

Spalding’s misery was complete when Cobb completed his treble from Grant Robbins’ excellent cross.

Having lost 4-0 to King’s Lynn in their previous outing last Wednesday, the Tulips are in freefall at the moment.

Tulips: Conroy, Duncliffe, Earls, Thompson, Fuff, Ashton, French, Harris (Mowbray 54), O’Loughlin, Smith, James. Not used: Lyon, Hussey.

Sat: Tulips v Tividale (3pm).