TULIPS: Spalding back on-song with Doughboys success

CRUISE CONTROL: Tom James (left) was among the Spalding scorers. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN
CRUISE CONTROL: Tom James (left) was among the Spalding scorers. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN
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SPALDING UNITED 5 WELLINGBOROUGH TOWN 2: Five different players found the net as the Tulips got back to winning ways with a dominant victory over lowly Wellingborough on Saturday.

An impressive first-half showing was the driving force behind the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field success, as Pat Rayment’s side put their Boxing Day loss at Holbeach behind them.

Goals from Miles Chamberlain (10), Danny Steadman (20), Jay Smedley (39), Tom James (41) and Dan Cotton (89) eased the hosts home against the plucky Doughboys, who gave a fine account of themselves in the second period.

Satisfied boss Rayment said: “It was a very tough pitch, but I’m just pleased that we got the game on and got the three points.

“We continue to ship silly goals, which has been a problem all season to be honest.

“But overall it’s been an interesting first half of the season really. We’ve had a decent start, but have had no luck when it comes to fixtures being called off. The games will come thick and fast in 2013 and I think we’ll benefit from that.”

There was some doubt if the game would go ahead after more heavy rain in South Holland. But despite a boggy surface and another downpour before kick off, the game was given the go-ahead.

The Tulips started much the better and should really have taken an early lead when James missed a golden opportunity at the back post.

However, they broke the deadlock on ten minutes when Chamberlain powered a header into the far corner following a cracking Cotton corner.

The goal of the game followed seven minutes later... but it was the Doughboys who grabbed it when Chris Di Fante sent a stunning volley into the top corner via the woodwork.

Parity lasted just three minutes though, with man-of-the-match Steadman clinically picking out the bottom corner from the edge of the box after a fine run and cross from James.

Spalding didn’t look back from then on, with two goals in the space of three minutes effectively ending the game as a contest.

Right back Smedley grabbed the third, with his attempted cross sailing past everyone and into the top corner.

That was quickly followed by a drilled James goal, after Chris Hall slipped him through smartly.

It was a low-key second half from the Tulips though, with Wellingborough showing the kind of spirit that should see them stave off relegation.

They deservedly pulled one back when skipper Michael Boyle-Chong finished nicely, but it was Spalding who had the last word.

Cotton, who had a fantastic game on the left flank, raced clear to bury a fine fifth into the bottom corner.

Tougher tests – starting with Quorn at home on Saturday (3pm) – lie ahead of for Rayment’s charges, but this was the perfect way to end a largely positive year for the Tulips.

Tulips: Drury, Smedley (Doherty 60), Freeman, Chamberlain, Fuff, Steadman, James (Hussey 80), Hall, Battersby (Sanders 60), Nightingale, Cotton. Not used: Street.