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Reaction from Spalding United manager Gabriel Zakuani after his side's victory over Stamford AFC

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Manager Gabriel Zakuani felt Spalding United's epic comeback in their derby duel with Stamford was the perfect end to a great night for the club.

The Tulips' four-match winning run looked to be coming to a close when their county neighbours soared into a two-goal lead.

However, Chris Assomblonga halved the deficit with just six minutes remaining before Spalding struck twice more in injury-time.

Tulips boss Gabriel Zakuani. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51027919)
Tulips boss Gabriel Zakuani. Photo: Chris Lowndes (51027919)

Glenn Yala levelled the contest in the second minute of stoppage time before Bailey Baker netted a last-gasp winner to end Stamford's six-match run of victories.

Zakuani said: "It was just unbelievable and that never-say-die attitude that I've tried to get into the club where we're never beaten was evident.

"I sniffed blood when we scored the first goal. I felt that there was a little bit of fear in them so we had to keep attacking because they were starting to look nervy.

"I would have been more than happy with a point after we got the second goal considering the circumstances but my players want to get the best they can out of a game and the third goal was a perfect end to a great night where our superb was support."

A crowd of 482 watched a gripping contest as former Peterborough United defender Zakuani continues to raise the profile of the Tulips who are now up to fifth place in the Northern Premier League Midlands Division standings.

He added: "I think it shows the buzz that happened before a ball was kicked and, now the fact that we're producing on the pitch, is bringing more people in.

"We are seeing young children at games who will want to keep coming back because they have seen what it is happening at Spalding United."

Zakuani had bolstered his defensive ranks ahead of the derby duel with both Nathan Stainfield and Hugo Odogwo-Atkinson ruled out with injuries sustained in the FA Cup win at the weekend against Tividale.

Ex-Posh defender Sam Cartwright made his Tulips debut alongside former King's Lynn player Chris Ward and Zakuani was full of praise for the duo.

He commented: "I've got injuries but, like most managers in this league, I haven't complained about them. I've just got on with it.

"We've recruited two centre-backs who I thought did very well and didn't put a foot wrong all game."

Spalding now face an away double-header as they travel to Sutton Coldfield on Saturday before visiting Ilkeston Town on Tuesday.

Both teams play on 3G pitches where Spalding suffered their only defeat of the season on the artificial surface at Yaxley.

Zakuani continued: "We haven't done well on 3G pitches so far because we lost at Yaxley, but the confidence of winning five games in a row is going to take us into the next couple of games.

"Hopefully that will be enough to see us perform better than we did at Yaxley."

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