SPALDING UTD 5 (Mowbray 10, 13, 90; James 86, 89) NORTHAMPTON SPENCER 0: THE chances for Andy Stanhope to praise his side this season have been few and far between. So he took the opportunity to heap it on after this demolition.
And the kind of confidence which a five-goal hammering brings could not have come at a better time with title contenders King’s Lynn Town at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field tonight (7.45pm).
Simon Mowbray grabbed a hat-trick and winger Tom James helped himself to a very late couple as the Tulips started and finished the match with a goal spree.
It was the kind of result Stanhope had been clamouring for for some time.
He said: “Simon and Tom deserve credit for the goals but the rest of the team were also magnificent.
“Simon is starting to really show what he is capable of and Tom is demonstrating why we brought him to the club. As a winger it can sometimes be very difficult and seem like you’re out of the game for 85 minutes and then all of a sudden it changes and you have to react, and that’s exactly what Tom did.”
The Tulips opened and closed the game in scintillating style. Mowbray’s first two goals arrived in the space of four minutes in the opening stages of the game – both set up by Ryan O’Loughlin. But the crowd of 80 had to wait until the death to see the score added to when the Spencer defence was breached three times in four minutes, Mowbray completing his hat-trick in the second minute of added time to carry off match sponsors Free Solar’s man-of-the-match award. That came moments after James had scored with a stinging shot and then made it 4-0 with a precision lob from way out.
Stanhope also lauded the defence and Liam Hook’s contribution. The midfielder was back after a three-match suspension but the manager is uncertain whether the player will turn down an approach by league leaders Peterborough Northern Star.
Injured striker Josh Ford is also a wanted man, with Boston Town, March Town United and Blackstones clamouring for his signature.
But ex-Lynn player Stanhope is only focusing on tonight’s big match, which could draw a large travelling contingent.
He said: “It’ll be the same team for us because we’re short on bodies and we’ll have to apply ourselves in the same way as we did on Saturday.
Tulips: Conroy, Duncliffe, Lyon, Fuff, Ashton, French, Hook, Earls, O’Loughlin, James, Mowbray. Subs (not used): Harris, Thompson and Hussey.