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Market Drayton Town 3 Spalding Utd 0

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Another of Market Drayton Town's old guard is joining their battle for Evo-Stik League South survival.

Another of Market Drayton Town's old guard is joining their battle for Evo-Stik League South survival.

Tom Ward, hero of their promotion season with 26 goals in 30 Midland Alliance league and cup games, will be in the squad for Wednesday night's crucial relegation dual with Rainworth Miners Welfare.

"He has made himself available to us for Wednesday night and, obviously, we are delighted," said Town manager Simon Line.

"His strength and quality will certainly strengthen our squad already buoyed by Saturday's good performance against Spalding."

Ward's unexpected return comes only three games after another Town favourite from their Alliance glory days, Jason Francis, took time off from training to be a fireman with the RAF to answer Town's emergency call.

He helped them to a 2-0 victory at Shepshed where they played the last half hour without top scorer Martyn Davies, who had been sent off.

If Ward can contribute as much, Line will be well pleased. "Rainworth on Wednesday is another must win six pointer for us," he said.

"They may be second bottom in the league but they have the reputation of being tough nuts to crack and we'll have to battle to beat them.

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"We need to keep rolling. Maximum points would open up a very handy gap between ourselves and the relegation zone. At present it's all a bit tense for us."

Ragged

Town's performance against Spalding proved his point. For most of the first half they strove manfully under the impressive leadership of man-of-the match skipper Duncan Swann-Horler.

But stuttered, spluttered and failed to clear crucial hurdles until Davies's superbly judged free kick goal on 53 minutes, won by the ever-active Swann-Horler, changed everything.

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Town suddenly swung into one-touch gear, carving huge holes in the Spalding defence with pace and precision.

Rob Stevenson, running riot, got their second on 72 minutes and a cool, clipped finish from sub Dorryl Proffitt on 89 ended the visitors' plucky but by now pretty ragged resistance.

In the first half, a combination of bad luck, good goalkeeping by Nathan Thackery and desperate work by a packed rearguard had kept Town out.

Two on-loan teenagers from Crewe, the impressive Olly Turton at full back and busy Jason Oswell up front made telling home debuts.

And the introduction of local lad Andrew Baker from village side Hodnet late on helped make it a lively finish for the 82 fans who braved non-stop rain.

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