OPENER: Mitch Griffiths headed Spalding's first goal on Saturday. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN

Tulips ease to impressive Kidsgrove success

Spalding United 5
Kidsgrove Athletic 0

OPENER: Mitch Griffiths headed Spalding's first goal on Saturday. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN

OPENER: Mitch Griffiths headed Spalding’s first goal on Saturday. Photo by NIKKI GRIFFIN

Five-star Spalding United produced one of their best performances in recent memory as they cruised past ten-man Kidsgrove on Saturday.

Goals from Mitch Griffiths (17), Lewis Webb (47), Asb Burbeary (57), Jamie Thurlbourne (pen 61) and Andrew Tidswell (79) were the least the Tulips deserved in a one-sided Evo-Stik League First Division South clash.

Spalding were aided by the sending off of Jacob Sturgess for a professional foul on Tidswell mid-way through the first period at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, but that won’t take away any of the gloss from their second league win of the campaign.

The hosts set the tone inside 30 seconds, with Tidswell wasting little time in testing Joseph Hemmings with a half volley. It was to be the first of many chances for Pat Rayment’s side.

Tidswell, who had more of those opportunities than most, then rattled the near post with a powerful effort from a tight angle after Thurlbourne had pulled the ball back across goal from the striker’s initial cross.

Next to have a dig was left back Adam Jackson, who sent a fierce long ranger just wide from fully 25 yards with his trusty left peg.

The breakthrough eventually came on 17 minutes, with winger Griffiths sending a header across Hemmings following a brilliant Burbeary delivery from the left.

Then came the red card for Athletic’s Sturgess, which nobody in the ground could dispute. The defender hauled down a clean through Tidswell right on the edge of the box – and with no team-mates covering, referee Chris Hunter had no choice but to give him his marching orders.

After that it was a case of chance after chance. Kern Miller was unfortunate to see a header cleared off the line from a corner, while Tidswell uncharacteristically blazed a lob way over after once again getting in behind.

A desperate diving tackle from Thomas Hackett was next to deny to Tulips, as he got in the way of a goal-bound Burbeary strike following Tidswell’s pull back.

There was one uncomfortable moment, however, with home keeper Michael Duggan forced to make an impressive save to keep out Chris Smith’s attempted lob after he sneaked in behind the Spalding defence.

With the score somehow only 1-0 at the break, the Tulips would have feared a Kidsgrove sucker punch in the second period.

They needn’t have worried, though, as Webb put the game to bed two minutes into the second period. It was a fine goal too, with Thurlbourne’s deep cross expertly knocked back by Griffiths for the midfield general to powerfully head home from six yards.

Tidswell then went within a whisker of making it 3-0 after being slipped in by Hall, but Hemmings tipped his side-footed effort over with perhaps his best save of the match.

He could do nothing about number three, though. A raking cross from Luke Thurlbourne – named man of the match for his display at right back – arrived bang on Burbeary’s right foot and he cleverly volleyed low into the net.

It was 4-0 a few minutes later when Tidswell was chopped down on the left side of the box. Jamie Thurlbourne was entrusted with the penalty – and he duly slammed a low effort past a helpless Hemmings.

All that was missing now was a goal from master marksman Tidswell, but he was again denied by the Kidsgrove keeper when he cut inside from the left and curled a low effort towards the far corner.

But you always sensed he had a goal in him and it finally arrived 11 minutes from time. Hemmings did well to keep out Miller’s header from a corner, but the ball dropped for Tidswell, who lashed home from six yards.

Sub Lewis McKue hit the bar as Spalding went in search of a sixth and the proverbial cherry on top of their dominant display, but 5-0 still served as their best win at this level in a very long time.

Their second success of this season moves the Tulips up to 11th ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Coalville Town (7.45pm).

Tulips: Duggan, L Thurlbourne, Jackson, Miller, Leary, Webb, Griffiths (Bore 68), Hall (McKue 66), Tidswell, Burbeary (Waumsley 66), J Thurlbourne.

Attendance:  159

Saturday’s results

Evo-Stik League First Division South: Goole AFC 3 Norton United 0; Gresley FC 4 Lincoln United 1; Loughborough Dynamo 4 Sheffield FC 1; Market Drayton Town 2 Brigg Town 1; Newcastle Town 0 Sutton Coldfield Town 2; Rainworth Miners Welfare 1 Chasetown 2; Romulus 0 Leek Town 4; Spalding United 5 Kidsgrove Athletic 0; Stafford Rangers 0 Coalville Town 2; Stocksbridge Park Steels 3 Carlton Town 2; Tividale 1 Mickleover Sports 3.

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