MATCH VERDICT: Joy of six for Spalding United’s youngsters
The future looks bright for Spalding United.
First-team deals are likely to be offered this summer as reward for some of the Tulips’ under-21 squad.
The youngsters produced another big win on Thursday night to move closer towards the south section title.
The performance was full of quality as Spalding raced into a four-goal lead after only 20 minutes.
A sloppy spell offered hope for Grantham Town with two goals in response, only for a red card early in the second half to end any chance of a fightback.
Jordan Neil – who opened the scoring from the penalty spot – smashed a magnificent free-kick into the top corner to seal Spalding’s success in style.
George Couzens also netted twice and he unselfishly set up Marcel Chipamaunga for a tap-in which made it 3-0.
Couzens’ 25-yard volley dipped under the crossbar to double the Tulips’ advantage.
His second goal came from a burst into the box and a low finish.
Tiago Nassunculo knocked the ball into an empty net as Spalding again failed to keep a clean sheet when Alex Smith couldn’t cut out a pass from Harry Gibbons.
Nine minutes later, Smith was beaten by Gibbons who found the bottom corner.
At 4-2, the Gingerbreads could have made Spalding feel nervous with another goal.
Instead, they went down to 10 men. Ben Rorks had been booked for an early foul on Couzens and he got a second yellow card for deliberate handball.
Joe Christopher headed in a corner delivered by Neil who then fired home a free-kick 10 yards outside the penalty box.
With the contest all over, a series of changes saw out the final quarter of the game.
Spalding could have added to the tally but a massive goal difference already gives them a bonus on top of a 10-point lead.
The Tulips are unstoppable so it’s surely just a matter of when they confirm a place in this season’s grand final.
5-3-2: Smith; Gordon, Christopher (sub Cooper 60 mins), Moulds, Moyses, Neil; Chipamaunga (sub Britton 81 mins), King (sub Winyard 72 mins), Stainfield (sub Buckley 72 mins); Havard, Couzens. Sub not used: Stewart.
4-4-1-1: Maskel; Pickersgill (sub Bowler 38 mins), Patten, Waby, Rorks; Nassunculo (sub Smith 87 mins), Mahlatsi, Brown, Callow; Gibbons (sub Jaquite 82 mins); Dasuolu (sub Marina 87 mins). Sub not used: Bentley.
Neil pen (10 mins, 1-0); Couzens (13 mins, 2-0); Chipamaunga (14 mins, 3-0); Couzens (20 mins, 4-0); Nassunculo (26 mins, 4-1); Gibbons (35 mins, 4-2); Christopher (58 mins, 5-2); Neil (65 mins, 6-2).
Rorks (second bookable offence – deliberate handball).
Rorks (foul); King (unsporting behaviour).
Jordan Neil – energy and quality from the wing-back who found plenty of space.