SPALDING UNITED 2 (Ashton 43, James 69) THRAPSTON TOWN 1 (Morgan 23): A STRONG second-half showing guided the Tulips to their first win of 2012 – and gained revenge for last year’s Thrapston thrashing.
Watched by new boss Pat Rayment on Saturday, Spalding were fortunate to find themselves level at the break as Simon Ashton’s leveller got them out of jail.
It was much better in the second half though, with Tom James’ winner the least the Tulips deserved.
Player/coach Danny Hussey admitted a half-time dressing down was required at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.
“I told the lads that they needed to perform with Pat in the stands,” said the experienced defender. “They were told to put in a shift and work hard, but in truth it was abysmal stuff in the first half.
“We were lucky to come in level, personally I think we deserved to be behind. I let them know a few home truths at half time and, credit to them, it was much better after that.
“We created enough chances to win much more comfortably and I’m sure Pat will have been pleased with what he saw.”
Thrapston, who had comprehensibly beaten the Tulips 4-0 at Chancery Lane in October, took a deserved lead after 23 minutes through Korey Morgan.
Although Simon Mowbray had an effort blocked on the line and strike partner Greg Smith headed wide, the visitors were unfortunate to be pegged back on the stroke of half-time.
A James corner wreaked havoc in the box, allowing defender Ashton to slide home from close range.
The same player went close with a firm header after the break, while Callum Earls was always a threat down the left flank.
It was from that avenue that Spalding got their noses in front 20 minutes from time.
Earls’ whipped cross from the left was slotted home by James, who celebrated his first goal since November.
That man Earls was denied a third moments later, while Mowbray, Smith and sub Alex Lyon all squandered decent chances to make the points safe in the closing stages.
It’s now four games unbeaten for the Tulips – but they’ll have to be much better at King’s Lynn next weekend if that’s to be extended.
Tulips: Conroy, Ford, Earls, Thompson, Fuff, Ashton, Cherry (O’Loughlin 58), Brady (Harris 82), Smith, Mowbray (Lyon 88), James. Not used: Allen, Hussey.
• Saturday: King’s Lynn v Tulips (3pm).