Appleby faces former team Poppies in cup

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STEVE Appleby was on Kettering Town’s books the last time they met Wisbech Town in an FA Cup tie in 1991.

It was the only season Appleby spent with the Poppies under the managership of Peter Morris, who also managed King’s Lynn and Peterborough United.

It was again a first qualifying round tie at Fenland Park with 1,011 present to see Kettering win the game 3-0.

Appleby did not play and watched the game from the stands, but another former Fenmen boss Darren Bloodworth did get some action. Later that season Appleby joined Wisbech on a month’s loan.

Kettering went on to meet Blackburn Rovers in the third round proper losing 4-1.

That was the only time Kettering have beaten Wisbech in the FA Cup, as the Fenmen won both the previous encounters.

The first was in October 1965 when in the fourth qualifying round with 2,499 at Fenland Park. Wisbech were then in the Southern Premier and Kettering were in Division One.

The Poppies had just appointed ex-Arsenal and Peterborough star goalkeeper George Swindon as manager, but he failed to lift the Poppies as Wisbech won the game 6-1 with Brian Moore hitting a hat-trick, Malcolm Devitt scoring a brace and Denis Woods also on target.

In September 1987 the two sides met again in the first qualifying round with Wisbech providing a cup shock against Southern Premier side Kettering with a 2-0 win.

Kettering, with the experience of player-manager Alan Buckley, the former Walsall striker, former Aston Villa skipper Dennis Mortimer and former Posh striker Billy Kellock dominated the game, but Wisbech’s Jerry Lowery scored twice to settle the tie in front of 748 at Fenland Park.

Thanks to local soccer historian Gordon Smith for the background.