SPALDING UNITED 2 WISBECH TOWN 0: New recruit Mark Jones scored one of the best goals the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field has ever seen in Spalding’s fine win over Wisbech on Tuesday night.
The striker, signed from Gainsborough Trinity last week, opened his Tulips account with a last-minute 40-yard stunner that flew into the net via the far post.
Lewis Webb had earlier fired Spalding ahead with a 47th-minute drive, as Pat Rayment’s men made it seven wins from as many UCL Premier Division games.
That leaves the Tulips second in the standings, with Deeping Rangers ahead of them on goal difference having played a game more.
A pleased Rayment said: “You’re not going to see many better goals than that! It was an incredible strike.
“It put the finishing touches on a very solid performance. I can’t remember Michael Duggan making a save.
“My expectations are so high when it comes to this team – and I really think we can get even better.”
The Tulips bossed a largely uninspiring first period at the Sir Halley, with Sam Mullarkey the main goal threat.
He had the ball in the net on 25 minutes, but was deemed to be offside when turning in a Lee Beeson strike at the back post. Mullarkey then forced a smart low save from Lea Jordan after racing onto an Adam Jackson pass.
Perhaps the chance of the half came in its final minute though, as that man Mullarkey volleyed wide at the back post with the goal gaping.
The elusive opener arrived two minutes into the second period, though. Mullarkey found some space on the right and pulled the ball back for Webb, who lashed a low drive past a helpless Jordan.
Although Wisbech enjoyed a half-decent spell after the goal, they failed to mount any real pressure.
Spalding, meanwhile, had chances to add to their lead. Beeson fired a trademark free kick just over from distance, while skipper Lee Canoville galloped forward to test the impressive Jordan with a low strike.
But there was nothing the keeper could do about the second goal. Duggan launched a long ball forward and Mullarkey nodded back to Jones, who instinctively pinged a goal of the decade contender home to seal the derby duel.
Meanwhile, Rayment has confirmed that striker Tony Battersby and midfield enforcer Kieron Doherty have both been released ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newport Pagnell Town (3pm).
Rayment added: “We wish both lads the best, but the plan is to carry on with the evolution of the squad.”
Tulips: Duggan, Canoville, Jackson, Stevens, Stainfield, Webb, Beeson, Hall (Steadman 82), Mullarkey, Tidswell (Jones 71), Cotton. Not used: Doherty, Battersby.
• Attendance: 203.