TULIPS: Spalding tie up four more deals

Spalding-bound: Kieran Doherty (above) and Ash Stevens (below) have both joined the Tulips.

Spalding-bound: Kieran Doherty (above) and Ash Stevens (below) have both joined the Tulips.

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SPALDING United’s summer signing spree has continued with a quartet of impressive captures.

Having landed St Neots star Shane Tolley and Holbeach United ace Luke Kennedy late last week, boss Pat Rayment has also wrapped up deals for Norwich United’s Kieran Doherty and much-travelled striker Ashley Stevens.

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Rayment would have been lauding a five-star list of captures, but his move for Michael Frew was gazumped by a bumper contract offer from Lowestoft Town at the 11th hour.

But with the Tulips expecting answers from high-profile duo Ryan Semple and Francis Green this week, there may be more cause for celebration at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field in the coming days.

As it is, Rayment is hugely excited by his newest additions.

Striker Tolley, who has fired St Neots to successive promotions, has been handed a two-year contract. He was the leading scorer (37) in the UCL Premier Division two years ago.

Creative midfield ace Kennedy, who played under Rayment at Deeping Rangers, notched 16 times in an incredibly successful season with Holbeach last time around. He is expected to line-up alongside Andy Toyne in a mouth-watering midfield combination.

Sitting behind those two will be Doherty. The disciplined defensive-minded stopper is the final piece in Rayment’s proposed three-man midfield and was a regular at King’s Lynn Town before moving to Norwich.

Ash Stevens will need no introduction to Spalding fans, having been a regular scorer for local sides Wisbech Town, Blackstones, Deeping and Holbeach in recent seasons. The striker netted 28 times for the Tigers (25) and Deeping (3) last year.

Rayment said: “Shane Tolley is such a cracking player, a real joy to watch. He does things the right way and there won’t be many better players in the league than him.

“Kieran Doherty is an aggressive, disciplined player – which is something I felt we really needed. He’ll provide great protection, allowing the likes of Luke Kennedy to work some magic.

“I’m also pleased to have Ash Stevens on board. I made a big mistake letting him go when I was with Deeping.”