TULIPS: Spalding braced for daunting finale

Spalding SOS: Ben Good will return on Saturday.
Spalding SOS: Ben Good will return on Saturday.
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Spalding United v Long Buckby (Saturday, 3pm): PAT Rayment has warned his Spalding side that they couldn’t have a harder run-in to the UCL Premier Division season.

The Tulips – who can’t wait for the campaign to end – welcome the title-chasing Bucks to the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field in the first of four tough tests.

After that it’s St Ives Town at home (April 7), Peterborough Northern Star at home (April 9) and rivals Holbeach United away (April 11).

With all four sides having plenty to play for, Rayment admits Spalding will need to be more consistent if they are to avoid a messy finale to an equally disappointing campaign.

He said: “Long Buckby is a great game for the lads, they need to stand up and be counted. You can never say never in football, obviously they’re favourites – but they recently lost to a Newport Pagnell side that we beat, so you never know.

“Let’s be honest, it’s an awful run-in for us. The four teams we’re playing all have something to aim for. We could get a mullering if we’re not careful.”

Spalding’s cause isn’t helped by a spree of suspensions to their attackers.

Tom James misses Saturday’s showdown, while leading scorer Greg Smith is banned for two games and fellow frontman Ricky Miller misses the next three matches.

Striker Ben Good has been drafted in to lead the line, while Rayment is considering a move for out of favour Bourne Town attacker Jake Mason.

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