Picture by Adrian Smith.

Tulips strike seven after cup reversal

National League North promotion hopefuls Scunthorpe United hit back from two goals down to destroy Spalding United’s Lincolnshire Senior Cup hopes at Lincoln City.

However, the Tulips soon overcame that disappointment with a stunning 7-1 Pitched In Northern Premier League win at Sporting Khalsa to put themselves firmly in the driving seat to clinch the league title.
At the LNER Stadium on Wednesday, Spalding looked well on track to pull off a cup upset when they led 2-0 at the break, only for their higher-level opponents to hit back with three second-half strikes.
A lovely cross from Riley O’Sullivan allowed Danny Draper to put the Tulips ahead in the fifth minute and 21 minutes later great hold up play by Sam Bennett set up James Clifton to fire a rocket into the top corner of the net.
The Iron pulled one back four minutes after the break and were level on the hour mark before breaking Spalding hearts with a last-minute winner.
Manager Elliot Sandy said: “Part of me doesn’t know how we lost because I thought the lads were outstanding.
“The first half in particular to a man, they were unbelievable. We defended for our lives, worked hard, had a great shape and it was hard for Scunthorpe to break us down.
“The only disappointing thing is how we started the second half. Even then, we were just as good as Scunthorpe and it’s harsh how we lost.”
Tulips v Scunthorpe: Breeden, Draper (Freeman), O’Sullivan, Warburton, Stainfield, Dawes (Sandy), Hilliard (Curtis), Clifton (Adegoke), Bennett (Barker), Graham (Winters), Sherif (Walker).
Attendance: 604.
Spalding bounced back in the best possible style on Saturday, buoyed by title rivals Anstey Nomads having dropped points against Corby on Thursday.
Once Riley O’Sullivan put them ahead after three minutes with a long-range effort there was no looking back. Tyler Winter doubled the lead before Glenn Walker and Sam Warburton both hit the bar. O’Sullivan struck from the penalty spot and then also hit the bar before completing his hat-trick after the hosts had pulled one back.
James Clifton, Jordan Graham and Kyle Barker completed the 7-1 scoreline.
Sandy said: “The boys were fantastic from start to fantastic.
“The Corby result against Anstey gave everyone a lift but we had to stay level-headed.
“We got an early goal and we were relentless in both boxes. We are in great form and the lads put all the good work we’ve done over the season into it and it showed with some great finishes.”
Tulips: Breeden, Draper, Warburton, Walker, Stainfield, Dawes, Hilliard, Clifton, O’Sullivan, Winters, Sherif. Subs: Cartwright, Barker, Adegoke, Bennett, Graham.
Attendance: 252.

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