Fenmen lacking a finishing touch as Vase dreams end

FA Vase Round 4 replay Dunston v Wisbech. Pictures courtesy of Ken Fitzpatrick.
FA Vase Round 4 replay Dunston v Wisbech. Pictures courtesy of Ken Fitzpatrick.
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Dunston UTS 3, Wisbech Town 1

THE FENMEN had to suffer one of football’s cruel lessons as they slipped out of the FA Vase in this fourth round replay on Tyneside on Saturday.

FA Vase Round 4 replay Dunston v Wisbech. Pictures courtesy of Ken Fitzpatrick.

FA Vase Round 4 replay Dunston v Wisbech. Pictures courtesy of Ken Fitzpatrick.

For the first 25 minutes they had looked the better team producing the best football as they fulfilled boss Steve Appleby’s promise of attacking football. They created three decent chances but unfortunately they could not produce a goal to reward their endeavour.

They paid for this when the home side took advantage as Anthony Reeve twice slipped on the greasy surface and showed the more clinical finishing with two goals in six minutes.

And then three minutes before the break Reeve completed a nightmare 15 minutes for him when he was red carded when he brought down Steven Goddard with only the goalkeeper left to beat. But Wisbech do deserve some credit for the battling display they put up with 10 men in the second half and what a super free kick from Chris Bacon for their lone goal.

A disappointed Steve Appleby said: “We had the opportunities to have won the game in the first match and again today but have not taken them.

“We could easily have been 2-0 up and it would have been a different game, but when their chances came they were the more clinical in front of goal.

“We gave it a real go in the second half after their third goal but we’ve had to learn a cruel lesson that if you don’t take your chances when you are on top then you pay for it and we have. We started off playing some really good football but when things did not go for us we resorted to a long ball game and it really played into their hands.”

Wisbech’s two best chances came when Scott Johnson found Nick Davey on the edge of the box and his flick fell into the path of Matt Lunn but he shot wide form eight yards out.

Soon after a poor back pass was intercepted by Davey with only the keeper to beat but a poor touch allowed the keeper to charge the ball down.

Callum Reed also had a goalbound shot blocked before Dunston had the ball in the net only for Andy Bulford to be ruled offside.

Wisbech were then fortunate not to be penalised when Bulford went down in the area from a Jon Fairweather challenge as the home striker’s pace was beginning to look threatening.

A long ball then found Bulford and as he raced towards goal Reeve slipped and the ball was directed to the far post where Goddard prodded the ball home after 28 minutes.

Bulford then forced a good save from Rayner before Goddard made the most of Reeve slipping in the box to pass for Bulford to find the opposite corner of the net and all of a sudden Dunston were now in control of a game they had been chasing.

But it got worse for Wisbech, when once again Dunston were making the most of a square Wisbech final line and Reeve brought down Goddard from behind and was shown a red card.

Wisbech reorganised for the second half bringing on Lewis Thompson for Johnson and went 3-4-2 and Reed may have done better when shooting over the bar.

But then Dunston struck with a killer blow when Dunston’s leading goalscorer for four seasons Bulford went round Fairweather and then Rayner to shoot into an empty net with the half only five minutes old.

Then 15 minutes later there was reward for the two coach loads of Wisbech fans, who had made the long journey, when Bacon curled a free kick into the top corner.

The goal fired Wisbech up and they enjoyed some good possession while Dunston became a little desperate with three quick yellow cards handed out.

A second goal might have made it very interesting but Wisbech were unable to conjure that up, although they should perhaps have had a penalty when the home keeper miscued a clearance and then appeared to push Millson from behind.

But on the day it is goals that win matches and Dunston were on target and Wisbech failed.

Wisbech: Ryan Rayner, Neal Spafford, Jon Fairweather, Anthony Reeve, Scott Johnson (Lewis Thompson), Callum Reed, Adam Millson, Steven Reid, Matt Lunn, Chris Bacon (Ollie Gale), Nick Davey (Sam Murphy). Att: 381.