DESBOROUGH TOWN 1 SPALDING UNITED 2: Pat Rayment admitted Spalding went fom the sublime to the ridiculous as they moved within four points of the UCL Premier Division summit.
A Ben Williams own goal (17) and TJ Nightingale’s sixth strike in three games (36) fired the Tulips into a 2-0 half-time lead at Waterworks Field on Tuesday night.
Desborough rallied after the break and replied through Kevin Byrne (55), but couldn’t stop Spalding from leaping above South Holland rivals Holbeach United into third place.
Although pleased with the points, Tulips supremo Rayment was left with mixed emotions. He said: “The first half was the best 45 minutes we’ve had since I’ve been here. I thought we were unplayable and it could have been 5-0 if we’d taken our chances.
“But half a dozen of them thought the job was done at half time and switched off, leading to one of the worst 45 minutes I’ve seen from us.
“I have to be happy, though. Desborough have built a strong side here and they’ll cause plenty of problems at their place.”
The Tulips now turn their attention to an FA Vase trip to UCL Division One leaders Oadby Town on Saturday (3pm).
Danny Steadman (illness) and Lee Canoville (injured) are both likely to miss the clash, although the latter is expected to make a return to light training next week.
Rayment is expecting a tough game in Leicestershire. “I’ve seen them, they play very good football and have good players. But if we turn up and play like we did in the first half at Desborough, we’ll get a result. It’s that simple.”
Tulips: Drury, Doherty, Chamberlain, Fuff, Earls, Hall, Kennedy, James, Nightingale, Battersby, Cotton. Subs: Joyce, Smedley, Hussey, Ebdon.