CROWLAND TOWN 0 SPALDING UNITED 5: NEW-LOOK Spalding returned to action with a five-star win on Saturday – and paraded three new signings.
Debutants Simon Mowbray, Danny French and Ryan O’Loughlin were among the goals for the Tulips in a routine friendly victory at Snowden Field.
But it was the captures of Jon-Paul Duncliffe, Rob Hughes and Elliot Dent that pleased boss Andy Stanhope the most.
Attacking full-back Duncliffe joins from St Ives Town, while former favourite Hughes has signed terms after leaving UCL Premier Division champions St Neots Town.
The ex-Nottingham Forest midfield man spent most of last season on loan at Deeping Rangers, but turned down the chance to return to Outgang Road.
Dent has inked a deal following his departure from Rushden and Diamonds and takes Spalding’s signing spree this summer into double figures.
With the Tulips assembling a squad that looks more than capable of an assault on the league title this season, Stanhope admits that he’s now in the position to turn down the advances of quality players.
The Spalding supremo said: “Everything went pretty smoothly on Saturday and thankfully we picked up no injuries, which is always important in pre-season.
“I’m pleased to have the three new lads on board. The most encouraging thing was that they came to us and wanted to sign.
“We’re close to having the squad we want now, but things can always be better.
“I believe we are putting together what looks to be a really decent squad on paper, but everyone knows it is not as simple as that.
“We’ve had a few players come back to us and ask to sign after weeks of negotiating, but we’re now in the position to say no to them.
“There is one player I’m really keen on adding, but we’ll have to wait and see on that one.”
The Tulips, who used no less than 20 players at Crowland, got away to a flying start with the lively Mowbray, who linked superbly with Josh Ford, slotting in the opening goal after just three minutes.
French added to the tally on the 20 minute mark and O’Loughlin completed the first half scoring with a great strike from 25 yards out. Crowland’s Gavin McPartlin turned number four into his own net, before Jordan Hayes completed the scoring late on.
Spalding are back in action on Saturday when they play host to local rivals Moulton Harrox (3pm).