TULIPS: Spalding firmly in Hunt after sixth win on spin

On a roll: Franny Green (above) notched another goal for the Tulips, while (below) Shane Tolley rolls in his first of the game. Photos by NIKKI GRIFFIN
On a roll: Franny Green (above) notched another goal for the Tulips, while (below) Shane Tolley rolls in his first of the game. Photos by NIKKI GRIFFIN
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SPALDING UNITED 4 (Green 9, Tolley 30 & 82, Chamberlain 50) HUNTINGDON TOWN 2 (Seymour-Shove 2, Bower 90): SPALDING’S ominous run of form continued on Saturday with another routine Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field success.

Without coming close to finding top gear, the Tulips had way too much for last year’s UCL Division One champions Huntingdon – despite falling behind early on.

Sir Halley Stewart field, Spalding'Spalding vs Huntingdon football

Sir Halley Stewart field, Spalding'Spalding vs Huntingdon football

Franny Green’s fifth goal in three games and another Shane Tolley double again emphasised Spalding’s fearsome firepower, while the ever-improving Miles Chamberlain weighed in with his first goal in blue.

It’s now six wins on the trot for Pat Rayment’s UCL Premier Division title hopefuls, leaving the boss satisfied.

Rayment said: “I can’t complain. We weren’t at our best, but we still managed four goals.

“As an ex-defender myself I’m far from happy with some of the defending, but that’s tempered by the fact we look like out-scoring everyone.

“Since we lost to St Ives we’ve been so good going forward and we could’ve had more on Saturday.

“Huntingdon are a good side, I can see them finishing in the top eight this season. You can see why they’ve done well in recent years.

“They’d only conceded five league goals before Saturday, so we have to be happy with our attacking performance.

“Once again we put on a show for the fans and hopefully more will come through the gate at our next home match.

“The lads are certainly doing their best to entertain, that’s for sure.”

It seemed visitors Huntingdown hadn’t read the script early on, as they delivered an impressive early blow.

With the Tulips looking flat-footed, Dan Drane raced through to square for Ben Seymour-Shove, who made no mistake from six yards.

The hosts were only behind for seven minutes, though. Green – who is enjoying a real purple patch in front of goal – raced onto a hopeful ball forward to prod the ball past an on-rushing Carl Mackney.

Tolley went close with a volley as Spalding searched for a second, but they were indebted to a top notch near-post save from Lee Drury, who expertly kept out a Niks Savalnieks dink.

Moments later the Tulips were ahead for the first time, with Tolley racing clear to latch onto a Tom James flick.

You always fancied the goal-machine to score – and he duly kept his calm to pick out the bottom left corner.

Tolley almost added another before the break, but he headed James’ cross over after a fine move involving skipper Lee Canoville.

Spalding didn’t have to wait long to open up a two-goal cushion though, with Chamberlain heading Green’s teasing cross home five minutes into the second period.

It was a goal Rayment’s men really needed, as Town enjoyed a sustained period of pressure. They really should have pulled one back when Salvalnieks lobbed wide when clean through – and were made to pay for it.

After sub Danny Steadman crashed an effort off the post from 20 yards, Tolley poked home number four from the resulting corner.

It’s now 13 for the season for the prolific striker, who is currently topping the scoring charts at the club.

There was still time for a late Charlie Bower consolation, but Spalding had already wrapped up the points.

Sterner tests lie ahead for Rayment and his side, but third place after nine games represents a solid start for a side hoping for promotion come the end of the season.

Tulips: Drury, Canoville, Earls, Chamberlain, Fuff, Kennedy, James, Doherty, Green (Joyce 85), Tolley, Cotton (Steadman 73). Not used: Stevens, Hussey.

Attendance: 104.

MOTM: Canoville

Tonight: Boston Town v Tulips (Lincs FA Senior Shield, 7.45pm); Sat: Tulips v S&L Corby (3pm).