FOOTBALL: Tulips and Tigers kick losing habit

Thumbs up: Andy Stanhope guided the Tulips to their first win in 15 games - and his maiden success at the seventh attempt.
Thumbs up: Andy Stanhope guided the Tulips to their first win in 15 games - and his maiden success at the seventh attempt.
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BOTH Spalding United and Holbeach United ended their three-month losing runs on Saturday, as the Tulips beat Sheffield FC 3-2 and the Tigers saw off Rothwell Corinthians 3-1.

Needing a win to have any hope of avoiding relegation from Division One South of the Evo-Stik League, goals from Gary Pawson (26), Jammall Shahin (43) and Josh Nodder (53) duly delivered Andy Stanhope a first success at the Tulips helm.

Skipper Pawson nodded the opener from a Nodder corner at a rain-drenched Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field - and when Shahin’s neat finish made it 2-0 just before the break, Spalding were in dreamland.

But a fierce free kick from Anthony Lynam made it 2-1 at half-time and seemed to revitalise the world’s oldest football club.

They bossed the early stages of the second half, only for man-of-the-match Nodder to capitalise on some poor defending and slot home the Tulips’ third.

Another Lynam blockbuster (70) set up a grandstand end to the game, but Spalding held on to register only a third league win of the season.

With Rainworth MW drawing 2-2 at Belper Town, the Tulips are still eight points - effectively nine because of their inferior goal difference - from safety.

But a win at Rainworth on Tuesday night (7.45pm) would ignite the most unlikely of survival bids for Stanhope’s charges.

In the UCL Premier Division, the Tigers did their survival hopes a power of good as they secured a first win in any competition since November 20.

Goals from Simon Mowbray, Pete Smith and Mark Courtley helped John Chand’s boys batter Rothwell at Carter’s Park.

They are now four points clear of the relegation trapdoor.

Elsewhere, waterlogged pitches put paid to Deeping Rangers’ game at Raunds, Bourne Town’s home date with Olney Town (UCL Division One) and Pinchbeck United’s clash at Ramsey Town (Peterborough Premier).

Moulton Harrox did beat the weather, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Netherton at Broad Lane. Steve Mastin was their scorer.

For picture action, full reports and reaction from all the big weekend games see Tuesday’s Lincs Free Press.

Evo-Stik League: 1S - Belper Town 2 Rainworth Miners Welfare 2; Market Drayton Town 2 Romulus 4; Newcastle Town 2 Carlton Town 1; Spalding United 3 Sheffield FC 2.

UCL Premier - Holbeach United 3 Rothwell Corinthians 1; St Neots Town 3 Blackstones 3.