KEMPSTON ROVERS 1 SPALDING UNITED 5: Five-star Spalding got their promotion push back on track with a crushing victory at relegation-threatened Kempston on Saturday.
While second-placed St Ives Town were going down 2-1 at home to Huntingdon Town, goals from Jake Gibson (10), Dan Cotton (16), Jamie Thurlbourne (80), Lee Beeson (43) and Luke Kennedy (85) moved the Tulips within a point of a promotion place with two games to go.
The scenario makes Thursday night’s shock 2-1 defeat at Wellingborough Town even tougher to take.
Forwards Dan Cotton and TJ Nightingale were both sent off in controversial circumstances at the Dog and Duck as the nine-man Tulips crashed.
Nightingale (13) had earlier hauled Spalding level after Jason Taylor’s penalty opener, with Todd Sawko grabbing a late winner.
Tulips chief Pat Rayment said: “All we can do now is win our last two games and hope it’s enough. We’re playing well at the moment and I’m sure we’ll take it to the final day.
“On paper, St Ives have the harder games.
“The referee at Wellingborough should never be allowed to take charge of another game.
“His performance left me speechless.”
Striker Gary King – who has finished his season with Corby Town –is back in the Spalding squad for tonight’s trip to Cogenhoe United (7.45pm).
St Ives visit Yaxley at the same time, on what promises to be a pivotal night of action.
Tulips (v Kempston): Duggan, Canoville, Thurlbourne, Chamberlain, Jacklin, McGovern, Cotton, Hall, Nightingale (Kennedy 60), Beeson (Doherty 72), Gibson (Jackson 46). Not used: Fuff, Smedley.
Tulips (v Wellingborough): Duggan, Canoville, Thurlbourne, Chamberlain, Jacklin, McGovern, Hall, Gibson, Cotton, Nightingale, Beeson (Doherty). Not used: Kennedy, Fuff, Jackson, McCready.