A magnificent Andrew Tidswell goal was mere consolation for Spalding as they crashed out of the FA Cup in front of 366 supporters at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field this afternoon.
After seven successive clean sheets the Tulips lost 4-1 at home to AFC Hornchurch, who play two levels higher in the non league pyramid.
Hornchurch arrived with a 100 per cent away record and they made their intentions clear, taking a 32nd minute lead through Carl Rook.
Spalding fought back but lacked finish and further goals from Rook on 59 minutes and a very dubious 65th minute spot kick for the striker’s hat trick settled the contest.
The prolific Tidswell replied with a well deserved Spalding goal 20 minutes from time, but there was no fightback and substitute Ade Yusuf completed the visiting tally with a soft effort four minutes from the end.
Deeping climbed up to second in the UCL premier division with a magnificent 7-2 victory at 2012 champions Long Buckby. Rangers have now notched 18 times in three away days, after goals from Alex Beck (3), David Burton-Jones, Mitch Griffiths, Ryan Oliver and Spencer Tinkler.
Holbeach suffered a fifth consecutive defeat, going down 3-1 to Yaxley. Top scorer Scott Carter gave Yaxley a 24th minute lead which was doubled by Holbeach and Spalding old boy Rob Hughes five minutes later. Curtis Yeatman replied for the champions after 51 minutes, but Denny Escorcio made the points safe for Yaxley nine minutes from time.
Poor Bourne crashed back down to earth after Tuesday’s Cup win against Yaxley when they were humiliated 10-0 at division one leaders Oadby Town.
FA Cup: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 3, Cambridge City 2; Spalding United 1, AFC Hornchurch 4.
United Counties League
Premier Division: Boston Town 5, Harborough Town 1; Desborough Town 2, Stewarts & Lloyds Corby 4; Long Buckby AFC 2, Deeping Rangers 7; Northampton Sileby Rangers 2, Huntingdon Town 2; Peterborough Northern Star 2, Cogenhoe United 0; Sleaford Town 1, AFC Kempston Rovers2; Wisbech Town 3, Newport Pagnell Town 1; Yaxley 3, Holbeach United 1.
Division One: Blackstones 5, Wellingborough Whitworth 3; Buckingham Town 3, St Neots Town Saints 1; Bugbrooke St Michaels 2, Eynesbury Rovers 1; Harrowby United 3, Potton United 1; Oadby Town 10, Bourne Town 0; Olney Town 1, Burton Park Wanderers 0; Rushden and Higham United 0, utterworth Athletic 1.
Premier Division: Deeping Rangers Reserves 1, Ramsey Town 1; Oakham United 1, Leverington Sports 0; Pinchbeck United 3, Parson Drove 92 0; Sawtry 0, King’s Lynn Town Reserves 0; Stilton United 3, Whittlesey Blue Star 1.
Division One: AFC Stanground 8, Sutton Bridge United 5; Ketton 3, Moulton Harrox Reserves 1; Long Sutton Athletic 4, Peterborough Sports Reserves 3; Warboys Town 0, Holbeach United Reserves 0.
Division Two: Baston 4, Guyhirn 0; Crowland Reserves 3, Long Sutton Reserves 0; Peterborough Sports A 4, Gedney Hill 3; Peterborough Post Office 3, Pinchbeck Reserves 1.
Division Four:Holbeach A 2, Glinton 4; Leverington A 1, Tydd St Mary 3; Pinchbeck A 0, Sutton Bridge Reserves 5; Ryhall A 1, Baston Reserves 6; Spalding Town 8, Warboys Reserves 0.
Division Five: Whaplode Drove 3, Parkside Reserves 4.