Spalding Town boss Danny Kingman was full of praise for the efforts which secured silverware at Carter’s Park on Saturday night.
They collected the Spalding Inter-Services Trophy after victory over favourites Long Sutton Athletic.
Town are pushing for the Division Two play-offs while the Magpies are close to booking a return to the Peterborough and District League’s top flight.
However, there was a big gap on the pitch as goals from Robbie Cundy, Kevin Childs and Aaron Eyett established a 3-0 lead until the final kick nine minutes into stoppage time as Matthew Oliver converted a penalty.
Kingman said: “It was all about the work-rate and desire as a team.
“We’ve got a lot of individual quality but it was important to come together.
“The result proves that we are playing below the level where we should be. However, we’ll need that performance week in, week out.
“This is a new group since the start of the season so it took time to gel. Now we are really getting the benefits and this is a massive boost.”
Spalding went in front from Cundy’s low finish and Childs doubled their advantage before the break as assistant referee James Truman ruled that the ball crossed the line via the foot of a post.
Liam O’Connor struck the woodwork at the other end while Brendan Taylor pulled off a series of saves.
We’ve got a lot of individual quality but it was important to come together.Danny Kingman
Cundy hit both posts inside a few seconds but substitute Eyett made it 3-0 by beating Carl Taylor at the near post.
Spalding pair Ash Wilson and Ricky Dickinson were both dismissed for serious foul play – although Kingman was not convinced by those decisions.
But the nine men held on and the celebrations started as Oliver’s spot-kick into the top corner was immediately followed by the final whistle.
LONG SUTTON ATHLETIC
4-4-2: Taylor; R Ward (sub Ramm 55 mins), Murrell, Shepherd, Bennett; O’Connor, J Ward, W Oliver, Allen; M Oliver, Grimwood (sub M Ward 65 mins). Subs not used: Murphy, Hall.
4-4-2: Taylor; Deykin, West (sub Chappell 15 mins), Roberts (sub Allen 66 mins), Dickinson; Coote, Rose, Childs, Cundy (sub Eyett 66 mins); Cartlidge (sub Haw 90 mins), Wilson. Sub not used: Kingman.
Cundy (23 mins, 0-1); Childs (43 mins, 0-2); Eyett (81 mins, 0-3); M Oliver pen (90 mins, 1-3).
Wilson, Dickinson (serious foul play).
Grimwood, Coote (fouls); Deykin (kicking ball away).
Brendan Taylor – series of saves showed why Spalding Town’s management rate him as one of the best goalkeepers at this level.