Fenmen eye long-awaited cup success

WISBECH Town will be looking for their fifth win in the Ridgeons League Challenge Cup when they take on Wroxham at Dereham next Monday.

It is 16 years since they last played in the final and they came out on top in extra time to beat Newmarket 3-1 but their two previous finals ended in defeats against Sudbury on both occasions.

But prior to that they won the competition in successive years in the 1970-71 and 71-72 seasons when the final was played over two legs. The first time they dispatched Ely City 6-3 on aggregate and the following year it was 5-3 against Lowestoft.

Those wins came after a 20-year wait when they met Chelmsford City Reserves in the finals and it took two replays before the Fenmen came out on top 1-0.

In the last win against Newmarket Ian Jones and Colin Garwood were joint managers and Jones said: “It was a very close game which was 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes but in extra time Steve McLoughlin and Mark Howard scored to give us the victory.

“It was the first season with the Grimsby influence in the side and of course that led us to winning the league soon after.”

The team in the final was: Kevin Hudson, Selwyn Shelton, Mark Lindsay, Ian Williams, Andy Slade, Dave Massingham, Lee Parrot, Steve McLoughlin, Clive death, Mark Howard, Kevin Topliss. Subs: Lee Minett, Paul Allen.

Interestingly Wisbech had beaten Wroxham 3-1 in the semi-finals in front of a crowd of 501 at the Fenland Stadium. Earlier in the competition they also beat Histon.