STEVE Appleby has paid tribute to the sterling work of Mark Jimson and Mel Mattless with the Wisbech Town Reserves this season.
Jimson and Mattless took over when Darren Edey quit as reserves’ manager early in the season when there were not even enough players to field a team and yet last Tuesday night they beat Senior A champions 2-1 at the Fenland Stadium.
Appleby said: “I watched that game and the Reserves thoroughly deserved their win against a side that had only lost once before in the league this season.
“I was delighted for Mark and Mel because they have done an incredible job this season. The reserves were in a really difficult position and could have easily walked away but they are Wisbech through and through.
“They have rebuilt the side and got the players playing together and turned things round completely.”
The Reserves who have been at the foot of the Senior A for most of the season have now moved up to fourth from bottom and are clear of any relegation worries.
Appleby was also delighted that Callum Reed will be returning to play at Wisbech again next season and said: “I never really felt he had left – more that he was taking a break to look after his mum.
“Circumstances are a lot better for him now and he feels at home playing for Wisbech.
“He is as good as anything there is at this level and gives us that extra bit out wide. His presence gives us even more options too so I am delighted he has committed to us.”
As far as any new signings, Appleby added: “I have spoken with some players but at the moment it is a bit early for them to be making decisions so we will wait and see. But I have most of last season’s squad committed and that helps put us in a good position anyway.”
Reed, who was Wisbech’s second top goalscorer last season with 13 goals, said: “It has been a bit of an up and down year for me on and off the pitch.
“My mother is a lot better now and I am really looking forward to playing for Wisbech again next season.”
Jimson and Mattless have agreed to run the Reserves next season and they were both delighted to finish the season on Saturday with a third successive win when beating Cherry Hinton 2-0.
The three points leaves them in a 12th place position in Senior A and Jimson added: “We made it hard work but it was great to finish the season off so well and it was noisy dressing room afterwards with the players delighted.
“Mel and I are happy to continue next season and hopefully we can build on what we have achieved this season.”
Anthony Melton gave Wisbech a first half lead with a shot that looped over the goalkeeper.
Substitute Joe Gallagher headed home the second goal from a Jason Day corner.
The reserve team awards winners were: Ant Melton (top scorer), Max Mattless (players’ player), Sam Darlow (manager’s player).
Danny Emmington won most improved player for the reserves and under 18 team. Youths’ other award winners were Ryan Lennon (top scorer) and Dale Palmer (players’ and manager’s player).