A dream start quickly turned into the nightmare of a derby-day defeat for Stamford.
Ryan Robbins’ clinical finish after 80 seconds seemed to put the Daniels in control on Bank Holiday Monday – but Spalding United showed their spirit to hit back thanks to a couple of close-range finishes by Bradley Wells.
Tulips manager Dave Frecklington’s changes then ensured that half-time lead was protected.
It was clear that the big danger would come from Stamford playmaker David Bell’s long-range passes and creative skills.
So, from the start of the second half at 2-1 up, Matt Varley was given a holding role in front of Spalding’s defence.
Three minutes later, Bell was introduced to substitute Sam Downey who didn’t let him out of his sights in a man-marking job.
When Bell tried to push forward with time running out, Varley was already in position to deal with it.
Wells was left on his own up front and Stamford could not break down Spalding’s strong unit of organisation and commitment.
Although the Daniels may have levelled in first-half stoppage-time when Delroy Gordon’s far-post header hit the woodwork, they failed to create a clear-cut chance after Frecklington changed his formation.
Bell’s corner was cleared off the line by skipper Nathan Stainfield and then keeper Michael Duggan pushed the ball over the bar.
But the only threat came from set-pieces and Duggan was never truly tested thanks to plenty of protection.
Andrew Wright had three attempts at the other end and Wells’ hat-trick opportunity was halted by Peter Denton – mainly because the striker looked too tired to make yet another run.
Wells had done his job – nodding in Paul Walker’s assist and then taking a touch before finishing it off again from Varley’s long throw-in.
The early advantage came when Denton’s goal-kick was flicked on and Robbins slotted low past Duggan.
It was a typical derby – full of challenges and a few times when tempers flared.
Stamford were fortunate as Tom Batchelor escaped a red card for an apparent stamp on Wells following a foul on the halfway line. But Spalding got what they deserved overall.
4-4-2: Duggan 7; Lemon 6 (sub Downey 48 mins, 7), Spafford 7, Stainfield 7, Field 7; Walker 7, Varley 7, Whitehead 7, Wright 7; Lockie 7 (sub Cullingworth 71 mins), Wells 8. Subs not used: Costa, Acar.
4-3-1-2: Denton 6; Gordon 6, Batchelor 5, Malone 4 (sub Miller h-t, 6), Luto 6 (sub King 59 mins, 6); Duffy 6, Bell 7, Hill 6; Brown 6 (sub Mulready 71 mins); Robbins 6, Smith 6. Subs not used: Hartley, Sandy.
Robbins (1 min, 0-1); Wells (8 mins, 1-1); Wells (42 mins, 2-1).
Walker, Spafford, Whitehead (fouls); Batchelor (unsporting behaviour); Downey (kicking ball away).
David Bell – the only creative spark.
St Neots Town (A) – Emirates FA Cup first qualifying round, Saturday.