FOOTBALL: Tulips battle back to win pre-season opener

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SPALDING UNITED 2 (Earls 70, James pen 74) MOULTON HARROX 1 (Panton 36): AMBITIOUS Spalding kicked off their pre-season campaign with a hard-fought derby victory over South Holland neighbours Moulton on Saturday.

Having fallen behind to Tom Panton’s near-post rocket before half time, two quick-fire strikes from young guns Callum Earls (70) and Tom James (74) were enough for the Tulips at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.

Spalding supremo Pat Rayment handed debuts to a host of new signings, with ex-Peterborough United duo Jacob Joyce and Francis Green really catching the eye.

Jay Smedley, Kieran Doherty, Andy Toyne, Luke Kennedy, Lee Canoville and Danny Steadman also made appearances, with Spalding fielding largely different sides in each half.

The first period was nip and tuck, but Moulton got their noses infront when Panton beat debutante Spalding keeper Lee Drury from close range.

Peterborough Premier Division side Harrox held on until 20 minutes from time, when Earls charged down two clearances, rounded the keeper and slotted home.

The winner came soon after, winger James making no mistake with a clinical penalty into the bottom corner.

More in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press.