Tulips Record Back-To-Back Wins
After breaking an eight-game losing streak on Boxing Day, could the Tulips be en route to an eight-match winning sequence?...
The Tulips gained sweet revenge for the six-goal hammering they received at Newcastle Town earlier in the season with this victory at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field on Saturday 30th December.
Goals from Cenk Acar and a James Tricks penalty – after an earlier spot-kick by Lee Beeson had been superbly saved – had the Tulips celebrating their second successive victory by a similar margin over the holiday period following their disastrous sequence of eight consecutive defeats in the Northern Premier League Evo-Stik South.
With just one change from the side that beat local rivals Peterborough Sports 2-0 on Boxing Day, Ellis Humble replacing the unavailable Neal Spafford, the Tulips again turned in a gritty and determined display to beat a lively Newcastle side and move two places higher in the league.
They got away to a cracking start with a goal after just four minutes following a sequence of slick passing movements out of defence. Conor Marshall’s final punt forward saw Castle skipper James Askey fail to connect fully with an attempted headed clearance and the ball fell kindly for Cenk Acar (pictured) to nip in smartly, round Sam Bradbury and gleefully fire past the advancing 'keeper, Rajaan Gill.
Castle, level on points with the Tulips at the start of the game, immediately surged back in search of the equalising goal.
Ricky Bridge’s finely threaded pass into the home area failed to locate a receiver and then it took a good interception by Jack Fixter to keep out Luke Dennis’s effort from a distance.
Goalkeeper Michael Duggan was off his line smartly to block James Lees’ attempt on the edge of the area. But it was the Tulips who ended the first-half the stronger in front of goal. The livezly Acar, who was a real thorn in Castle’s side all afternoon, had a good shot deflected for a corner and from the resulting flag-kick Ben Davison’s header flew only inches over the crossbar.
The second-half was nip and tuck throughout with play from end to end. Beeson’s shot was gathered at the second attempt by Gill while at the other end Bradbury should have done better after finding shooting space inside the 18-yard area.
The recently-returned James Tricks, forming an exciting partnership with Acar in the Tulips front line of attack, also had two solid shots go without reward.
On 55 minutes the razor-sharp Acar was upended as he danced his way into the visiting penalty-area and the Tulips were awarded yet another penalty. The opportunity to increase the lead however, was lost when Beeson’s firmly delivered shot from the spot - akin in accuracy/conviction to that which had seen him convert a penalty only four days previoulsy - was suberbly saved by Gill at full stretch.
The Tulips’ were awarded a second penalty ten minutes later. This time it was Tricks who was brought down and he picked himself up and demanded the responsibility for taking the all important kick. He did not disappoint, sending ’keeper Gill in the wrong direction.
It was a rewarding day for the Tulips with everyone playing their part in a thoroughly entertaining encounter.
Before the game players of both teams, officials and fans observed a moment of silent tribute in recognition of former Tulips' goalkeeper and local legend in the mid-50s/early 60s, Peter Roberts, who sadly passed away on Christmas Eve. Thoughts and condolences from everyone connected with Spalding United FC go out to the family & many friends Peter had in life.
Team: Michael Duggan, Conor Marshall, Adam Jackson, Jack Fixter, Ben Davison, Ellis Humble, Cenk Acar (George Couzens, 80 mins), Lee Beeson, Gary King, James Tricks (Jonny Lockie, 76 mins), James Hugo. Subs (not used): Jordan Neil, Alex Smith.
Tulips' Man-of-the-Match, sponsored by Match Sponsor, Reeves Tyre Centre: Cenk Acar