Crucial decisions go against Fenmen in disappointing loss

Wisbech Town first XI Football v  Brantham'Ash Stevens
Wisbech Town first XI Football v Brantham'Ash Stevens

Stanway 2, Wisbech 0

THE Fenmen didn’t do themselves justice at Stanway in Saturday’s Ridgeons League fixture, when their recent four-match unbeaten run came to an end.

And for manager Steve Appleby there was a mixture of disappointment and frustration at the result, which saw Wisbech lose ground on the teams above them.

He had seen Stanway twice catch out the Fenmen’s defence to score a goal in each half, but felt aggrieved that his side were robbed of chances to stay well in contention.

Appleby said: “To be honest and without wishing to sound as if I’m a moaner, we’ve had three major decisions go against us – and they came at crucial times of the game.

“Yes, we could have played a lot, lot better and there are no gripes on that score, but at crucial times in the game big decisions have gone against us and obviously that matters. On this occasion it wasn’t just one, but three of them.”

In a somewhat scrappy game, Stanway had taken the lead midway through the first half when Wisbech didn’t close down soon enough allowing a free shot from the edge of the box.

But within five minutes the Fenmen also had the ball in the net – only to have the effort disallowed.

“We had put a good cross into their goalmouth,” said Appleby, “and when the keeper dropped it we’ve pushed the ball home.

“The thing is our lads who went up for the ball were not within touching distance of the keeper, yet the ref gives them a free-kick.”

Wisbech were guilty of some sloppy defending just a couple of minutes into the second half, when Stanway took a free kick quickly, played a one-two and finished off the move with a well-taken shot. That left the visitors with a mountain to climb and their cause was not helped when two claims for penalties were both turned down.

The first came when Ash Stevens broke free from midfield and ran in on goal, being chased and tugged back by a defender. Stevens eventually went tumbling, but Wisbech were only awarded a free kick and the defender was shown a yellow card.

Appleby said: “To me it was either a penalty to us or a straight red for the initial foul 20 or 30 yards back.

“You never want to see anyone sent off, but rules are rules, and we felt very harshly done by.

“In the last 20 minutes we’ve peppered the goal with shots and crosses, but nothing has gone our way. We also had a second penalty incident where a defender patted the ball down and that wasn’t given.

“It just wasn’t going to be our day and if we had stayed here until next Christmas we wouldn’t have got anything.

“It was just one of those games although we could have done a lot better ourselves and I’m not trying to hide away from that.

“Perhaps the timing wasn’t great for us to meet Stanway as they have just had a change of manager and brought in some fresh faces, but you’ve got to get on with it and I’m not making that as any excuse for the result.”

Wisbech: Lea Jordan, Simon Flanz, Scott Johnson, Stacy Cartwright, Anthony Reeve, Callum Reed, Paul Jones, Lewis Thompson, Andy Furnell, Ash Stevens, Matt Lunn. Subs: Darren Jimson, Jon Fairweather, Billy Smith, Chris Dear.

RIDGEONS LEAGUE

Premier Division

Pl W D L F A Pt

Dereham 23 17 4 2 59 18 55

Wroxham 24 15 5 4 57 30 50

Haverhill 24 14 6 4 43 23 48

Leiston 19 14 4 1 54 21 46

Mildenhall 27 12 5 10 39 39 41

CRC 23 10 6 7 51 33 36

Kirkley & P 26 9 9 8 39 28 36

Hadleigh 24 10 6 8 49 42 36

Wisbech 22 8 9 5 37 32 33

FC Clacton 24 9 6 9 36 35 33

Norwich Utd 23 9 5 9 41 33 32

Woodbridge 24 9 4 11 41 51 31

Gt Yarmouth 24 7 9 8 38 44 30

Newmarket 24 8 6 10 27 46 30

Ely City 23 7 5 11 35 37 26

Wivenhoe 26 6 8 12 34 45 26

Stanway 19 6 6 7 25 22 24

Walsham-le-W 22 3 11 8 35 41 20

Brantham 25 5 5 15 34 46 20

Debenham LC 25 5 4 16 37 63 19

* Histon Res 25 4 7 14 27 82 18

Felixstowe & W 20 4 4 12 24 51 16