Spalding United 3 Stamford 2
Three goals in the final few minutes saw Spalding United come from 2-0 down to beat Stamford 3-2 in a remarkable South Lincolnshire derby on Tuesday night.
The Tulips looked dead and buried after goals from Cameron Johnson (33) and Cosmos Matwasa (60) put the Daniels in command at the SIr Halley Stewart Playing Field.
But, incredibly, Gaby Zakuani’s Spalding battled back to take all three points thanks to strikes from Chris Assombalonga (85), Glenn Yala (90) and sub Bailey Baker (90+5).
All of that dramatic action came after a heated start that saw Tulips captain Gregg Smith and Stamford supremo Graham Drury sent off for an incident in the tunnel before a ball was kicked.
Zakuani was able to bring Jordan Macleod into the starting line-up at the expense of Smith, but losing his main striker was a huge blow ahead of the derby.
The Tulips handed a start to new signing – and another former Peterborough United player – Sam Cartwright in central defence.
The first 30 minutes passed by without much action, but Stamford grabbed the lead three minutes later when Cameron Johnson finished superbly after a fine Jake Duffy assist.
Spalding brought on Marcus Maddison at the break and he gave them a lift, with the in-form Stefan Broccoli seeing his free-kick saved by Danny Haystead.
At the other end Michael Duggan saved expertly from Johnson, but was unable to do anything to keep out Matwasa’s fierce drive on the hour as the Daniels went 2-0 up.
With Tom Siddons within a whisker of making it three just 12 minutes from time, there was no sign of what was to come.
But Spalding hit back when Assombalonga headed home after a super Haystead save, setting up a grandstand finish.
The hosts then grabbed a leveller in the last minute when Yala struck. Amazingly, better was to come when, following a super Maddison cross, Baker headed the most dramatic of derby winners.
The Tulips, up to fifth in the Pitching In NPL Midlands Division, now face back-to-back away games in the league, starting with a trip to a Sutton Coldfield side that have had a mixed start to the season on Saturday (3pm).
Then comes a harder looking game at high-flying Ilkeston Town on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
Tulips: Duggan, Yala, Cartwright, Bucciero, Hugo, Ward, Floyd, Clarke, Macleod, Broccoli, Assombalonga. Subs used: Baker, Maddison. Not used: Goff, Mucklin.