SPALDING UNITED 2 (Harrold 54, Shahin 57) WISBECH TOWN 1 (Nimmo 75): ANDY Stanhope hailed his Spalding side after their most impressive pre-season win of the summer and declared: “We’re ready.”
Second-half goals from Liam Harrold and Jammal Shahin were enough to see off Wisbech at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field on Saturday in their final friendly clash of the summer.
Ex-Tulip Liam Nimmo did reduce the arrears, but Spalding held on to register an eye-catching success.
Having criticised his charges after last Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Louth Town, Stanhope was full of praise this time around.
The Spalding boss said: “I thought it was a good all-round performance. We played some good stuff in the first half, but did very well in the second.
“Some of the play was brilliant and I was delighted with both goals.
“Jammal especially showed real quality. His touch and skills are as good as anything I’ve seen below Football League level.
“Overall I’m happy with how pre-season has gone and I’ve learned a lot. We’re ready for the league to start – and I’ll learn a lot more about the lads once we’re under way.”
Spalding started brightly on home soil, with Harrold’s early header forcing a smart stop from Chris Horton.
At the other end, new Tulips skipper Glen Fuff snuffed out one of Wisbech’s better attacks, while Nick Davey fired their best chance wide.
The deadlock was broken on 54 minutes with Harrold slotting home after some wizardry on the edge of the area by Shahin.
Less than three minutes later the lead was doubled as Shahin was rewarded for his efforts with a well-taken goal, beating Horton with a neat chip.
Spalding stopper Leigh Cook kept the two-goal lead intact with a smart save from Nimmo, before Harrold went close to a third with a header that grazed the angle of post and bar.
There was time for Nimmo to rattle home his customary goal, but Spalding held on for a cracking win.
Most of the squad gained vital game time ahead of Saturday’s UCL opener at Northampton Spencer too.
But one man not involved was David Cobb. The ex-Deeping winger grabbed a debut goal against Louth last week, but now looks likely to join Soham Town Rangers.