Worksop Town 1
Spalding United 4
Spalding United turned in a super performance on Saturday to gain sweet revenge over a strong Worksop Town side for the defeat they inflicted at the Sir Halley Stewart Field back in September.
After a testing few days following the resignation of manager Matt Easton, the team pulled together to give a performance which would rate as one of their best so far in BetVictor NPL South East Division this season, writes RAY TUCKER.
They scored four goals in a game that was a bit feisty at times – including a hat-trick by Kevin Bastos – and could have had more, such was their overall dominance of the game.
Joel Brownhill set the ball rolling with a well-executed 21st minute penalty, but was also guilty of missing a real sitter earlier on, spooning the ball high over the bar with only keeper David Reay to beat.
It was to be a perfect platform for Lewis Thorogood, who has stepped into Easton’s shoes as acting manager.
In the reshuffled management package, Neal Spafford becomes acting assistant manager, while Graham Almond (under-23 coach) is elevated to first team coach. Bob Don-Duncan (director of football) and Jordan Bates (sports therapist) completed the team.
There was an early blow for the Tulips, with striker Jamie Jackson limping off in the 12th minute with a tight hamstring.
Scott Floyd replaced him and went on to play an integral part in the ultimate victory.
The Tulips were out of the starting blocks quickly with Brownhill twice going close with good efforts.
At the other end, Owen Betts cleared from the line in a goalmouth melee. But all of the best attacking movements came from the Tulips.
Jenk Acar was back to his best and, from one of his trademark jinking runs, was fouled as he entered the home area.
Referee David Constable did not hesitate in awarding a penalty, with Brownhill making no mistake from 12 yards to give the Tulips a deserved lead.
Strong appeals for a second penalty ten minutes later were ignored by the official, but the home defence was breached again on 32 minutes.
Floyd, winning possession close to a corner flag, foraged just enough space to get in a cross to find Bastos, who blasted the ball home amid a crowded goal area.
The lively striker added to Worksop’s woes ten minutes after the break, pouncing on a poor clearance with a dash from one wing to the other to steer the ball home from a narrow angle.
With a 3-0 advantage the Tulips were buzzing – and just three minutes later their lead was stretched further.
For the second time in the game Acar was fouled in the area and another penalty was the outcome.
Bastos was given the honour to take the kick and he made no mistake to complete a memorable hat-trick.
Unfortunately his day of celebration turned sour when he was, rather harshly, sent off for a late tackle.
Worksop worked hard to make use of the extra player and pressured the Tulips goal, forcing a number of saves from goalkeeper Michael Duggan.
Steven McDonnell did reduce arrears on 71 minutes with possibly the best strike of the afternoon, hoisting the ball over the head of Duggan from fully 30 yards out.
But Worksop were also reduced in numbers in the 77th minute when Steven Wankiewicz was red-carded for a foul on Acar.
The impressive win keeps Spalding in ninth place in the table.
Tulips: Duggan, Betts, Hugo, Zuerner (Spencer 69), Greenwood, Richards, Bastos, Everington, J Brownhill, Acar, Jackson (Floyd 12). Not used: Burrill, Ramsden, Mason.
Joint men-of-the-match: Ben Greenwood and Kevin Bastos.