By Peter Scherer
Following our league success, it’s now time to focus on the FA Cup, after our home success against Ilkeston.
Our visitors are Spalding Utd, from the Northern Premier Midlands League and they have had a similar start to Mickleover. In the league they have won all four games and currently lie second.
They have already ended Shepshed Dynamo’s FA Cup hopes after a replay and beat Stratford 2-1 in the last round. But last Saturday they went out of the FA Trophy at Sheffield FC, 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
They were in Cup action again too Tuesday night, travelling to Grantham Town for a win in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup.
Manager Elliott Sandy is still a registered player and has been on the bench for a number of games already this season. A striker, he started out at Brackley, but after a loan at Oxford City, he went to Dunstable.
Further moves have taken him to Kettering, Rushden & Diamonds, Stamford, Newport Pagnell, Sileby Rangers and Banbury, before a four-year spell at Corby preceded his arrival at Spalding in July 2022. He has been in charge since March this year.
Goalkeeper Tony Breeden was a pre-season signing from Nuneaton, where he had spent four years. He started at Leamington, before moving on to Kidderminster and Tamworth and then went back to Leamington in 2013 and stayed six years, before a move to Bromsgrove.
Stephen Morley is a pre-season signing too. After starting at Hinckley he had five years at Leamington, before playing for Corby, Brackley, Tamworth and Telford. He then returned to Leamington for another three years in September 2019, before spells at Kettering and Hednesford preceded his move to Spalding.
Centre back Nathan Stanfield has been with the Tulips since July 2021, his third spell with the club. Having started at Spalding he went to Boston Utd in 2011, who also loaned him to Hucknall Town.
He was back at Spalding at the start of the 2013/14 season, but after four years service moved onto Gainsborough, but was out of football for the 20/21 season, before heading back to our guests again.
Sam Cartwright is another centre back and an ex Peterborough Utd junior. He was loaned to Kings Lynn, Leatherhead, St.Ives, Grantham, Kettering, Woking and Oxford City, before joining St.Ives on his release in August last year, but only a week later came to Spalding.
Left back Sam Warburton started out at Northampton Town, before signing for Rugby Town on his release. He quickly moved on to Nuneaton and Kings Lynn, before starting the 2017/18 season at Corby. Four years later he moved to Rushden & Diamonds and came to Spalding from Bedford in March this year.
Kyle Barker is a defensive midfielder, who has spent most of his career in Peterborough. Starting as a Junior at United, he was loaned to Lowestoft and Kings Lynn, but joined Peterborough Sports following his release in July 2022. Two months later he arrived at Spalding.
Lewis Hilliard is another defensive midfielder who started out at Rushden & Diamonds. He had loan spells at Ware, Hemel and Banbury, before being released to join St.Neots in 2010.
St.Albans, Boston Utd, St.Ives and Peterborough Sports followed, with a couple of loan spells at Yaxley. He came to Spalding last November.
Joe Curtis is a central midfielder and pre-season signing from Bromsgrove. He started off at Southampton and after a spell at Brackley, had his first spell at Spalding in 2015.
After one year he moved to Rushden & Diamonds, staying a further three years until he joined Stratford. He had a year each at Corby and Bromsgrove, before coming to Spalding.
James Clifton plays in midfield too and after starting his career with a two-year spell at Brackley, he moved onto Oxford City for another two-years. Nuneaton, Boston Utd, Alfreton, Corby and Basford followed before a return trip to Corby preceded his arrival at Spalding for the start of last season. He is assistant manager too.
Glen Walker’s a midfielder too, a pre-season signing from Brackley, where he had spent 12 years. He has also played for Banbury and Corby.
Portuguese born Wilson Carvalho can play right or left wing and started off at Fulham’s Academy. Loans at Stevenage and North Greenford followed, before a permanent move to Port Vale.
He was loaned out again to Hemel, Corby and Ilkeston, before making it permanent again at Corby. Kettering, Oxford City, Stratford, Accrington, Macclesfield, Hampton & Richmond, Hendon, Walton Casuals, Hayes & Yeading and Westfield were next in line, before going to Kings Langley September last year and arrived at Spalding in pre-season. During his time at Accrington he has made nine league appearances.
Striker Jordan Graham came through of the youth schemes at both Leicester City and Oxford Utd. After loans at Didcot and Farnborough he then spent three years at Mansfield Town where he made 10 starts, moving on to Tamworth, Rushden & Diamonds, Kettering and a loan spell at Hednesford, before signing for Spalding pre-season.
Midfielder Danny Draper came from Wisbech in mid 2022, having played for Bedford, Eynesbury Rovers and Corby Town.
Dan Sweeney is another well-travelled striker, who spent his early career at Kidderminster. He had loan spells at Halesowen, Stourport, Rushall Olympic and Sutton Coldfield, before a permanent move to Stourport.
He then joined Solihull Moors who loaned him to Hednesford, Leamington and Bradford Park Avenue, before going to Redditch. After further moves to Hednesford and Redditch came Bromsgrove and Macclesfield, from where he arrived at our visitors pre-season.
Defenders Stacey Freeman and Connor Peters, striker Mike Taylor have also been in the squad this season.
Kick off as usual is 3pm at the Don Amott Arena, FA CUP ACTION ON YOUR DOORSTEP!!