FOOTBALL: New striker in squad for big Cup match

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Spalding go into Saturday’s big FA Cup clash against Hornchurch at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field with a new striker in their ranks.

On-form Tulips have signed Gainsborough Trinity hitman Mark Jones.The former Boston United and Deeping Rangers hitman (24) is a proven goalscorer and is a huge signing for a Spalding team that has already won ten out of ten this season.

Manager Pat Rayment is confident going into the second qualifying round clash against opponents ranked two steps higher than Spalding on the non-league ladder.

His team are bursting with confidence ahead of the game with the Isthmian League premier division high fliers and Rayment said: ““We can beat them. If we play as well as we can we should be in the next round.”

The Urchins have not lost since the first day of the season, but the Spalding supremo added: “It’s no secret we have about six players of step two calibre and two could play even higher.

“We are all looking forward to the game and, with all the hype surrounding us, it’s nice to be underdogs for once.

“It’s the FA Cup. You only get one bite at it each season and we want to go as far as we can.”

Having had the Essex side watched, Rayment said he will be making no changes to the way Spalding play: “They have got to come to us and they could be in for a shock.

“Last season our weakness was letting in goals but now we haven’t conceded for over seven games.

“Michael Duggan has only had to make six saves in the last five games. My back five just love defending. There is a togetherness about the whole squad and there is still a lot more to come.”

On Jones, Rayment added: “This lad can destroy defences. Andrew Tidswell could also be playing at a much higher level so we are going to be very strong up top.”

Rayment is now hoping the fans will be energised by the progress his side have made and come and support the team.

“It’s exciting times here and I’m hoping the fans will start coming back – starting this Saturday.

“Since I turned down going to Corby it has galvanised us all and we are going from strength to strength. This team is young and is being built for the future. We are all in this for the long term and this is an enjoyable place to watch football.”

* On Tuesday eveing Spalding entertain Wisbech Town in a league game.