Marcus Maddison’s Spalding United debut involved a goal, two assists, a judo bout, a penalty dispute and lots of fiddling with his hair

With his first touch of the ball as a Spalding United player, former Peterborough United star Marcus Maddison nutmegged an opponent.

By Alan Swann
Monday, 5th July 2021, 12:12 pm
Marcus Maddison scores for Spalding United against Bourne. Photo: David Lowndes.
Marcus Maddison scores for Spalding United against Bourne. Photo: David Lowndes.

He later went on to breeze past two defenders before slamming the ball home with a left foot that remains potent and he also claimed two goal assists as the latest club in a weird couple of seasons for the 27 year-old beat Bourne Town 6-1 in a friendly at Peterborough Northern Star FC on Saturday (July 3).

The showman can still perform, but it’s all rather sad for those of us who watched him dazzle, delight and frustrate for six years in a Posh shirt to see him doing it a level way below what his ability should demand.

But, if a player who displayed worrying personal demons when he walked away from a loan spell at Bolton Wanderers earlier this year, is much happier in the Northern Premier League Pitching In East Division (five divisions outside the Football League) then good luck to him and to Spalding United who have without doubt pulled off the transfer coup of summer in non league football.

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Gaby Zakuani. Photo: David Lowndes.

Spalding are managed by a former Posh teammate of Maddison’s in Gaby Zakuani. They are chalk and cheese in the way they view football, but Zakuani is such a universally beloved and respected figure in the sport it’s hard to imagine Maddison messing him and his club about.

Zakuani showed great patience with his star man on Saturday.

He gently praised the good bits, while largely ignoring the lazy moments from a player who spent much of his first 20 minutes fiddling with his hair before moaning after half an hour that he was ‘knackered.’

Maddison has clearly been leaner in his time.

Marcus Maddison attempts to block a clearance. Photo: David Lowndes.

Given the time he now devotes to gaming his fingers and thumbs are presumably the fittest parts of his body. But there were still bursts of pace down the right wing whenever the mood took him.

If he stays motivated, and can avoid clogging defenders out to claim a big scalp, the Sir Halley Field Stadium could be attracting record attendances next season.

Maddison emerged unscathed from a spot of judo with a couple of Bourne defenders thanks to a lenient referee who then awarded a penalty for a foul on the former Posh man which was then quite rightly overturned on the advice of an assistant referee.

And no he didn’t dive!

Maddison came on at half-time in front of 100 spectators with Spalding 2-0 up. Fellow new recruit Jordan Macleid scored twice with Lyes Mazine, Joel Brownhill and Chris Assombalonga - the brother of another old Posh man Britt - also on target.

Peterborough Sports beat Bedford Town 2-1 in their opening friendly of the season at the Bee Arena on Saturday. Dion Sembie-Ferris and new signing Michael Gash scored for Sports as another old Posh star Craig Mackail-Smith made onloy a fleeting late appearance for the visitors.