Spalding United gained sweet revenge for the heavy defeat at Newcastle Town earlier in the season with Saturday’s victory at the Sir Halley Stewart Field.
An early goal from Jenk Acar and James Tricks’ penalty – after a spot-kick by Lee Beeson had been superbly saved – produced a second successive victory by the same scoreline following a disastrous sequence of eight consecutive defeats.
With one change from the side that beat Peterborough Sports on Boxing Day – Ellis Humble replacing Neal Spafford who was unavailable – the Tulips again turned in a gritty and determined display to move two places higher in the league.
They got away to a dream start with a goal after just four minutes following a sequence of slick passing movements out of defence.
Conor Marshall’s final punt forward saw Castle skipper James Askey fail to connect fully with an attempted headed clearance and the ball fell kindly for Acar to nip in smartly, round Sam Bradbury and gleefully fire past the advancing Rajaan Gill.
Castle, level on points with the Tulips at the start of the game, immediately surged back in search of a leveller.
Ricky Bridge’s finely threaded pass into the home area failed to locate a receiver and it took an interception by Jack Fixter to keep out Luke Dennis’ long-range effort.
Keeper Michael Duggan was off his line smartly to block James Lees’ attempt on the edge of the area.
But the Tulips ended the first half looking stronger in front of goal.
Acar, who was a real thorn in Castle’s side all afternoon, had a shot deflected for a corner and Ben Davison’s header flew inches over the crossbar.
The second half was nip and tuck throughout with play from end to end.
Beeson’s shot was gathered at the second attempt by Gill while Bradbury should have done better after finding space inside the box.
Tricks, forming an exciting partnership with Acar, also had two shots go without reward.
On 55 minutes the razor-sharp Acar was upended as he danced in the area. But the opportunity to increase the lead was lost when Beeson’s firmly delivered shot from the spot was suberbly saved by Gill at full stretch.
The Tulips’ were awarded a second penalty 10 minutes later. This time it was Tricks who was brought down and he picked himself up then demanded the responsibility for taking the all-important kick. He did not disappoint, sending Gill in the wrong direction.
It was a rewarding day for the Tulips with everyone playing their part.
Before the game, silent tribute was paid to former Tulips keeper Peter Roberts who died on Christmas Eve.
Duggan, Marshall, Jackson, Fixter, Davison, Humble, Acar (sub Couzens 80 mins), Beeson, King, Tricks (sub Lockie 76 mins), Hugo. Subs not used: Neil, Smith.
Acar (4 mins, 1-0); Tricks pen (76 mins, 2-0).