TULIPS: Spalding harbour hopes of big run

On the charge: Pat Rayment
On the charge: Pat Rayment
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Harborough Town v Spalding United (Saturday, 3pm): PAT Rayment is eyeing a lengthy winning run after admitting the fixtures have “fallen nicely” for his free-scoring Tulips.

Title favourites Spalding go into Saturday’s clash with basement boys Harborough fresh off the back of three wins, scoring 18 goals in the process.

With home dates against struggling Blackstones (Tuesday) and promoted Huntingdon Town (Saturday week) to come, United boss Rayment is hopeful his side will lay down a marker in the busy seven-day period.

“It’d be fair to say the fixtures have fallen nicely for us at the start of the season,” said the ex-Peterborough United professional. “The next three matches are ones we should win on paper.

“My outlook is that if we turn up and play like I know we can, not many in this league can live with us. We’ve got no right to just expect nine points from the next three, but I expect the lads to build on the last few games.

“I don’t think we’ve really found our best form yet, so this is the perfect time for us to do so.”

Rayment was pleased to see his side get together for a team night out after last Saturday’s FA Vase win over Lutterworth Athletic, and feels the friendships struck up by his much-fancied side off the pitch will stand them in good stead in their quest for the UCL Premier Division crown.

But he’s refusing to rest on his laurels, with a new defender still very much on his agenda.

Spalding make the trip to Harborough as the league’s leading scorers on 27, but it’s at the other end where they’ve struggled.

The 12 goals they’ve conceded is only two less than their rock-bottom opponents.

In a bid to fix their leaky defence, the Tulips are allowed to speak to Frickley Athletic’s Tom Johnston today and have other targets in mind should the move stall.

All of Rayment’s targets play at a higher level, so he’ll have to convince them to step down.

He hopes to announce the capture of at least one central defender before Saturday’s fixture, especially with Jay Smedley and Miles Chamberlain injured and Liam Bull likely to leave the club.

The Spalding Guardian understands that Cambridge City and rivals Holbeach United are both keen on securing the services of the talented right back.