FOOTBALL: Rayment shrugs off Saints setback

EXIT: Gary King has left the Tulips.
EXIT: Gary King has left the Tulips.
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Pat Rayment isn’t at all worried by Spalding United’s first pre-season loss of the summer.

The Tulips were tonked 4-0 at higher-graded St Neots Town on Saturday – and saw star striker Andrew Tidswell ruled out for up to six weeks with a broken hand.

Lewis Hilliard (16), Adrian Sear (57), Dion Sembre-Ferris (78) and Andy Palmer (88) all notched for the Saints – but it was their keeper Liam Conroy who walked away with the man-of-the-match award after a string of fine saves.

Rayment said: “I’m not reading too much into the scoreline. We had a lot of tired players and made a number of substitutions, which didn’t help.

“In the first half we had so many chances and really should have been comfortably ahead.

“It was encouraging, to dominate a half against such a good side shows we’re coming along nicely.

“It’s a blow to lose Tidswell, but these things happen. I may have to look at bringing a striker in on loan.

“We are well stocked for players everywhere really, except at left back.

“But Adam Jackson has really stepped up to the player there and I can’t praise him enough. He’s probably been our best player so far in pre-season.”

Spalding handed a substitute appearance to former Corby Town and Peterborough Northern Star full back Nathan Horne on Saturday, while winger Matty O’Neill was also given a run out.

But it was a final appearance in blue for striker Gary King, who has been released by the Tulips. He’s been handed a trial with Step Two side Boston United.

Next up for the Tulips is a home friendly with Kettering Town on Saturday (3pm).

Tulips: Drury, Canoville, Jackson, Allen, Stainfield, Webb, Beeson, Hall, Battersby, Tidswell, Cotton. Subs (all used): Mullarkey, O’Neill, Steadman, Doherty, King, Horne, Ebdon.