Bragging rights for Spalding United after a cracking tussle v Stamford AFC, Holbeach storm into the play-off places and big crowd expected in a UCL derby at Bourne on Tuesday

Spalding United bagged the local bragging rights with a 3-2 win over Stamford AFC at the Sir Halley Stewart Field.
Spalding United's two-goal hero Nathan Stainfield (blue) in action against Stamford.Spalding United's two-goal hero Nathan Stainfield (blue) in action against Stamford.
Spalding United's two-goal hero Nathan Stainfield (blue) in action against Stamford.

A cracking crowd of 639 pitched up to see a Boxing Day battle between two of the top three in the Northern Premier Midlands Division and they were served up a treat by two committed, passionate teams.

And it was Spalding – who have now travelled through the first half of the season in a competitive division without losing a game – who emerged triumphant thanks to two goals from skipper and centre back Nathan Stainfield, one from former Posh youngster Archie Jones and a vital penalty save from goalkeeper Michael Duggan.

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Stamford scored first through a Marshall Willock header and last through a Jon Challinor strike, but a red card for Michael Armstrong after he’d been cautioned twice in the opening 30 minutes proved too big a hurdle to mount.

Lewis Hilliard (blue) in action for Spalding against Stamford.Lewis Hilliard (blue) in action for Spalding against Stamford.
Lewis Hilliard (blue) in action for Spalding against Stamford.

Stainfield, who delivered a passable Terry Butcher impression by playing with a bandaged head after an early clash, scored twice before the break, once deep into injury-time before Jones netted in the opening minutes of the second-half.

The Daniels will rue missing the chance to go 2-1 up against 10 men after a foul inside the area on Harry Vince by another Posh youngster Sam Cartwright. Duggan easily saved the spot-kick taken by Stamford top scorer Jonathan Margetts.

Substitute Elliott Sandy and Dylan Edge both struck the woodwork for Spalding in the second half and Challinor’s late goal set up a grandstand finish, but the hosts held firm.

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Leaders Halesowen were held to a draw at Sutton Coldfield so Spalding are now a point behind in second place with a game in hand. Stamford, who have now lost two games in a row, are third, a point further back having played a game more than the Tulips.

Stamford have a tough home game against Corby on January 2 when Spalding will expect to win at Yaxley (3pm kick offs).

Yaxley are rooted to the bottom of the table with one point from 20 matches amd were crushed 6-2 at Dereham on Boxing Day.

In Thurlow Nunn Division One Holbeach United have shot into the play-off places after a 7-1 duffing of bottom club FC Parson Drove at Carters Park, but Whittlesey Athletic are down to ninth after a 1-0 defeat at Huntingdon Town.

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It was a Boxing Day bonanza for Cal Davies who scored four for the Tigers and for Kyle Compton wjo hit a hat-trick.

Non-league attention now turns to the United Counties League on Tuesday and in particular the big Division One derby between second-placed Bourne and their local rivals Blackstones at the Abbey Lawn (3pm).

Bourne have risen from fifth bottom to second placeon the back of a 12-game unbeaten run, but Blackstones, who are 10th, have lost just three of 17 leagie games this season.

Bourne are hoping for a crowd of 250 plus at the Abbey Lawn.

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Deeping Rangers host Wisbech Town in the Premier Division North today.


December 26

Northern Premier League

Midlands Division: Dereham 6, Yaxley 2 (Robinson, Acheampong); Spalding Utd 3 (Stainfield 2, Jones), Stamford AFC 2 (Willock, Challinor).

Thurlow Nunn League

Division One North: Holbeach Utd 7 (Davies 4, Compton 3), FC Parson Drove 1; Huntingdon Town 1, Whittlesey Athletic 0.


December 27

United Counties League

Premier Division North: Deeping Rangers v Wisbech Town.

Division One: Bourne v Blackstones.