DEEPING RANGERS 4 (M Jones 3, Moreman 27, pen 79 & pen 83) SPALDING UNITED 2 (Smith 65, Harris 81): JOSH Moreman’s hat-trick sentenced Spalding to a derby defeat on Tuesday as Andy Stanhope’s week went from bad to worse.
The Tulips were comfortably second best at Outgang Road, with two clumsy penalties conceded by JP Duncliife sealing their fate.
Second-half goals from Greg Smith and Ben Harris – along with a stunning goalkeeping display from Nick Conroy – threatened to spark an unlikely comeback, but it was too little, too late.
Smith’s strike was his 12th for the Tulips – but probably his last, with Stamford set to swoop for the dually registered Corby Town hitman.
Left back Callum Earls could also be heading for the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field exit door, with Deeping making an official seven-day notice of approach.
“We were very, very poor in the first half,” admitted Stanhope, whose Spalding side are now five games without a win in the UCL Premier Division.
“Nick Conroy showed why he’s the best keeper in the league, but we can have no complaints. JP is disappointed in himself, both penalties were poor ones to give away.
“We need to toughen up, we’re still struggling badly in midfield.
“As for the transfers (Smith and Earls), I’ve got my views but I’ll keep them to myself.”
The Tulips handed debuts to on-loan Wisbech Town defender Simon Ashton and winger Tom James, who has joined from Boston Town.
But Deeping bossed the game from the off, taking the lead through Mark Jones’ solo effort inside three minutes.
Moreman then doubled Deeping’s money after Conroy kept out Matt Heron’s strike.
After the break Conroy tipped Moreman’s half-volley over the bar, before Smith headed home a superb Alex Lyon cross to haul Spalding back into contention.
Conroy then made a stunning double stop from Heron and Moreman, while his close-range save from Nick Jackson was the pick of the bunch. At the other end Smith fluffed a great headed chance to level moments before Moreman’s first penalty sparked a goal spree.
Ben Harris’ deflected free-kick made it 3-2, but seconds later Moreman, who won both penalties, completed his treble from the spot to seal the points for Deeping.
Deeping: Lowdnes, Evans, Fenton, Tinkler, Julian, Gilbert, M Jones, Cox, Battersby (Jackson 69), Heron, Moreman. Not used: K Jones, Leisner, Stebbing, Weston.
Tulips: Conroy, Duncliffe, Earls (Lyon 46), Thompson, Fuff, Ashton, French, Harris, Smith, Mowbray (O’Loughlin 82), James. Not used: Harrold, Field, Hussey.
• Saturday: Long Buckby v Tulips; Deeping v Desborough (3pm).