Action from Spalding United’s 4-2 win at home to Loughborough Dynamo on Saturday.

Four-some Tulips down Dynamo

Spalding United returned to form in an impressive display that ended Loughborough Dynamo’s winning run.

The Tulips ran out 4-2 winners on Saturday in the clash of two sides in the Pitching In Northern League Midlands Division play-offs to keep the pressure up on leaders Harborough Town who beat third placed Anstey Nomads.
And they effectively won it in the opening 20 minutes racing into a 3-0 lead in front of 563 at the Sir Halley Stewart with many taking up the offer of letting under 16s in free of charge.
Loughborough actually had the first chance when Spalding were caught out by Cam Moore’s ball over the top but Rio Molyneaux blazed the chance well over.
But the Tulips carved the visitors open repeatedly at the other end.
Sam Warburton had already had strong claims for a penalty turned down when Jordan Graham gave Spalding an 11th minute lead.
It was a lovely team goal down the right flank that saw James Clifton feed Lamine Sherif, who got to the byline and squared across for Graham to deftly finish past the keeper.
A similar move on the right made it 2-0 five minutes later.
This time it was Tyler Winters in behind and the keeper bundled his shot from the tight angle straight at Warburton who couldn’t miss with his midriff on the goal line.
Clifton could have scored three minutes later but his back post header lacked power and was clawed away by the Loughborough keeper.
From the resulting corner though Winter headed home to make it 3-0 after 19 minutes.
Dynamo attempted to get back in the game but the Tulips’ defence was excellent with keeper Tony Breedon only called into action in the first half to deny an Evan Garnett volley.
With the referee determined to be lenient, the game became fractious at times as both sides pushed the limits, Spalding being left enraged when former Tulip Gianluca Bucci was shown a yellow for an elbow that left Joe Curtis on the floor.
Spalding looked comfortable in the second period and had more chances to score, a fine Lewis Hilliard volley being kept out by a decent save, as was Clifton following a nice move.
Just as the game looked to be petering out, both sides got sloppy at the back.
Loughborough got one back as the Tulips were left open and Connor Furey finished at the back post with 20 minutes still remaining.
But the three goal advantage was reinstated when Warburton decided to run through the middle, gliding past defenders into the area before finishing well.
Within seconds though a late lunge by Kyle Barker led to a Loughborough penalty slotted home by Garnett to make it 4-2.
Spalding switched back on for the final 11 minutes and five minutes of stoppage time and they held Loughborough comfortably at bay.
Manager Elliot Sandy was delighted in the responce after the disappointing defeat at Bedworth.
“Last week, especially the first 45 minutes, was the worst I’ve seen us play, but in the first 30 minutes this week we blew Loughborough away,” he said, “We got three goals and could have got more, should have had a penalty and they should have had a red card for a blatant elbow.
“Loughborough are a very good side who have scored more than any other since January so we knew we were going to have defend at times and we did that.
“Two goals conceded was disappointing as I don’t think Breedon’s had a save to make.
“That’s something for us to work on, but going forward, we were excellent.
“It’s been a tough time for Jordan but he came back in and I’m so pleased he’s come back and been brilliant.
“Curtis came back in too and he never lets you down, so it was a good squad performance all rounds.
“These are the levels we’ve set for out now and we have to try and keep these standards.”
Spalding remain in second, four points behind Harborough Town but having played a game more.
On Saturday they make the trip to 12th placed Boldemere St Michaels as Harborough head to eighth placed Lye Town.

Tulips: Breedon, Clifton, Warburton, Walker, Stainfield, Cartwright, Hilliard, Sherif, Winters, Graham, Curtis. Subs: Freeman, Barker, O’Sullivan, Sweeney, Sandy.
Attendance: 563.

l The game looks set to have been the last appearance for Tulips striker Dan Sweeney with the club announcing on Tuesday they had agreed a transfer fee for his services from Northern League Premier Division promotion chasers Macclesfield.
The Tulips posted they had accepted the undisclosed fee but personal terms had yet to be agreed by Sweeney.

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