FOOTBALL: Tulips and Deeping victorious as Tigers held

BACK WITH A BANG: Jay Smedley (centre) takes the plaudits after netting his first Spalding United goal on Saturday. The defender was making his return from a long-term injury. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN
BACK WITH A BANG: Jay Smedley (centre) takes the plaudits after netting his first Spalding United goal on Saturday. The defender was making his return from a long-term injury. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN
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Second-half goals from Dan Cotton and Jay Smedley helped Spalding United beat Irchester United 2-0 in the UCL Premier Division on Saturday, while Deeping Rangers won 2-0 at Sleaford Town and Holbeach United were held 2-2 at Shepshed Dynamo.

Starting at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, Spalding were forced to work for their victory against an Irchester side they crushed 11-1 earlier in the season.

Franny Green and Tom James both worked visiting keeper Michael Freeman in a dour first period, as the Tulips were made to wait until the 62 minute to break the deadlock.

When it arrived, it was a cracker from Cotton, with the left winger volleying a James cross into the top corner.

Although Irchester failed to test home keeper Lee Drury all game, it was still a relief when Smedley lashed home his first Spalding goal from just outside the box.

The win moves Pat Rayment’s third-placed side to within a point of South Holland rivals Holbeach, who were held in Leicestershire despite twice going ahead.

Jonny Allen put the Tigers ahead on 50 minutes, before a deluge of goals in the closing stages. First, Dynamo levelled through Luke Pritchard (78), only for Holbeach to go back ahead two minutes later.

With another impressive away win within touching distance, John Chand’s side were forced to settle for a point when sub Luke Marson netted a second equaliser on 82 minutes.

With St Ives Town coming from 3-2 down to win 5-3 at S & L Corby, Holbeach are now seven points behind the leaders with two games in hand.

Meanwhile, Deeping enjoyed another away success as they knocked off Sleaford Town 2-0.

A free kick from skipper Chris Logan and Alex Beck’s sixth goal in two games were enough for Tuncay Korkmaz’s men.

Down in UCL Division One, Bourne Town grabbed a first league victory in eight games as they prevailed 2-0 at Northampton ON Chenecks.

In the Peterborough and District League, Moulton Harrox remain on course for a double after blitzing rivals Long Sutton 8-2 at London Road in the PFA Senior Cup.

Crowland Town and Deeping Rangers Reserves are both out though, losing at home 3-0 and 2-1 against Coates Athletic and Leverington Sports respectively.

Pinchbeck United picked up a decent point at Whittlesey Blue Star in the Peterborough Premier Division, drawing the relegation battle 1-1 away from home. They stay 15th, two points off the foot.

More on all the weekend football in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press.


United Counties League: Premier Division – Kempston Rovers 0 Huntingdon Town 3; Blackstones 1 Quorn 2; Boston Town 0 Harborough Town 2; Long Buckby 1 Newport Pagnell Town 0; Peterborough Northern Star 5 Desborough Town 3; Shepshed Dynamo 2 Holbeach United 2; Sleaford Town 0 Deeping Rangers 2; Spalding United 2 Irchester United 0; Stewarts & Lloyds Corby 3 St Ives Town 5; Wellingborough Town 1 Yaxley 2.

Division One – Eynesbury Rovers 4 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1; Northampton ON Chenecks 0 Bourne Town 2; Oadby Town 1 Harrowby United 2; Olney Town 3 Wootton Blue Cross 1; Raunds Town 2 Buckingham Town 1.

Peterborough & District League: Premier Division – Parson Drove 1 Oakham United 1; Peterborough Sport Parkway 5 Uppingham Town 0; Whittlesey Blue Star 1 Pinchbeck United 1; Whittlesey United 6 Kings Cliffe United 3.

Division One – Castor & Ailsworth 1 Langtoft United 4; Hampton Sport 0 Ryhall United 1; Ketton 1 Maccasports 4; Stamford Bels 1 Netherton United Res 2.

Division Two – Deeping Rangers A 6 Oundle Town 2.

Division Three – Alconbury 2 Whittlesey United Res 4; Kings Cliffe United Res 0 Long Sutton Athletic Res 1.

Division Four – Oakham United A 6 Thorney Res 2; Ryhall United Res 1 Parkway Eagles 0; Sawtry Res 0 Ketton Res 3.

Division Five – Baston Res 6 Glinton United 0; Peterborough Sport Parkway A 6 Sutton Bridge United Res 1; Pinchbeck United A 6 Gaultree 1; Pro Evo 9 Hampton Sport Res 2.

PFA Senior Cup - Crowland Town 0 Coates Athletic 3; Deeping Rangers Res 1 Leverington Sports 2; Long Sutton Athletic 2 Moulton Harrox 8.

PFA Challenge Cup – Langtoft United Reserves 1 Peterborough Sport Parkway Res 7; Peterborough Rovers 0 Moulton Harrox Res 4; Pinchbeck United Res 8 Peterborough ICA Sports Res 3 (AET); Thorney 5 Guyhirn 0; Warboys Town 2 Leverington Sports Res.

• PFA Junior Cup – Coates Athletic Res 4 Peterborough Rovers Res 1; Leverington Sports A 2 Farcet United Res 4; Peterborough ICA Sports A 6 Baston 1; Ramsey Town Res 4 Wittering 1; Riverside Rovers Res 5 Stamford Belvedere Res 0; Stilton United Res 2 Parkside 4.

Boston & District League: Premier Division – Billinghay Athletic 8 Fishtoft 2; Freiston 2 Skegness Town Reserves 6; Old Doningtonians 2 Benington 5; Old Leake 1 Kirton Town 0; Pointon 1 Swineshead 2; Wyberton 6 Spilsby Town 2

Division One – Skegness United Reserves 2 Mareham United 4; Spalding Harriers 1 Coningsby 2; Spalding Town 3 Wainfleet United 1; Woodhall Spa United 1 Pointon Reserves 3; Wrangle United 2 Wyberton Res 3.

Division Two – Coningsby Reserves 3 Park United 2; Fosdyke 5 Sutterton 2; Kirton Town Reserves 0 Nelson 5; Mareham United Reserves 1 Westside Rangers 3; Old Doningtonians Reserves 1 Ruskington Rovers 4; Queens Rangers 2 Leverton 4.

Division Three – Benington Reserves 1 Burgh United 3; FC Hammers 0 Friskney 2; Pointon A 3 FC Kirton 7; Spilsby Town Reserves 3 Spalding Harriers Reserves 4; Sutterton Reserves 0 Fosdyke Reserves 8; Tulip 4 Holbeach Bank Reserves 0.

Main Ridge Take Away Reserve Cup: Round One – Fishtoft Reserves 0 Freiston Reserves 8.

Spalding Inter-Services Trophy: Round One – Holbeach Bank 2 Tydd St Mary 5; Gedney Hill 2 Sutton Bridge United 8; Holbeach United Res 4 Crowland Town Res 1.