By Rory Mitchinson
Stand-in Spartans captain Arjun Purewal paid tribute to his central defensive partner Nathan Buddle, after the former Hartlepool United man struck late on to earn the Green Army a deserved victory at Barwell.
“I was buzzing for him – he deserved that goal”, said Purewal.
“He was brilliant today, and so it’s really nice for him to get the winner. You could see from his celebration what it meant.”
The defensive pair were among the Spartans’ outstanding performers, as Tom Wade’s side recovered from a first-half setback to record a 2-1 victory at Kirkby Road.
“I think I had a good game. I took a knock on the head in the first 20 minutes – that dazed me for a good ten minutes or so! But I thought after that I performed well.”
The Leicestershire outfit struck after 37 minutes, through the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s leading marksman, Danny Newton.
“I think, as soon as the game started, you could tell who their main player was. You know, he’s a good player. I didn’t actually know he was (the division’s) top goalscorer to be honest, but he was their main threat. I think in the second-half we coped with him well.”
On the Barwell unit as a whole, Purewal added: “They were a very physical side – quite route one.”
Spartans restricted their hosts to slim pickings in the second half, taking command of the game, and looking comfortably the healthier of the two sides.
“Well, I think all the lads are fit. I mean, credit to the management team. It’s the training routine we’re in – we’re training all the time, even if we have got a midweek game. I think that’s really helping us.”
Victory at Kirkby Road elevated Spartans up to third in the division – an impressive response to the midweek defeat at Chorley.
Looking back at the encounter at Victory Park, Purewal said: “We had a daft spell during the first-half, where they got two goals, and their third (late on) came on the counter attack. But, apart from that, we did really well in that game, and passed them off the park.
“Today, one-nil at half-time, we hadn’t really got a grip of the game. But in the end, I thought we probably deserved it – it’s an amazing feeling.
“I think we are exceeding expectations at the moment. We’ll just take every game as it comes and see what we can do.”