Spalding United 0 Carlton Town 4: IF ever a result summed up a club’s season, this was it.
The Tulips signed off a desperate relegation campaign in Evo-Stik League First Division South with a home drubbing on Easter Monday – their 32nd league loss of the season.
After turning in a tremendous performance to share the spoils with play-off hopefuls Sutton Coldfield Town two days earlier, there were hopes of a repeat display for the finale in front of home fans.
However, the Tulips were chasing shadows for much of the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field clash, with Carlton sharper on the ball and their two wingers showing some blistering pace.
Theodore Smith was particularly quick down the right side and gave Tulips’ teenager Alex Lyon a torrid time.
It was from that avenue that Town opened the scoring, as Lyon fouled Smith in the area.
Curtis Shaw clinically despatched the resulting penalty.
Six minutes later, a well-worked move down the left split the Tulips’ defence wide open and Jermain Hollis extended the Carlton lead with a close-range finish.
Spalding battled back as Corey Currithers worked visiting keeper Danny Marshall from 25 yards, while Alistair Holding and Josh Nodder both went close.
After the break, Carlton made a telling substitution on 64 minutes with Steve Chapling replacing the evergreen Neil Grayson.
Within a minute he extended the lead, although provider Terry Hawkridge looked to have made his run from an offside position.
To their credit, Spalding continued to battle. Holding had a good effort well saved and Rick Brewer was also denied from a Jammal Shahin corner before Hawkridge slotted home Carlton’s fourth on 11 minutes from time.
That was the 127th and final league goal conceded by the Tulips this season.
Tulips: Cook, Kennedy, Lyon (Pawson 53), Ingram (Thompson 60 mins), Baker, Brewer, Carrithers (Outram 70), Warner, Holding, Shahin, Nodder. Not used: Hayes.
Goals: Carlton - Shaw pen 12, Hollis 18, Chaplin 65, Hawkridge 79.