March Town 1, Wisbech Town 8
THE Fenmen oozed class as they gave the Hares a soccer lesson in Saturday’s local derby for the BKD Cup.
A year ago the two sides had battled out a 1-1 draw in front of a crowd of 1,000 plus in the FA Cup but there have been a lot of changes at the GER since then and only two of their starting line-up that day were in the squad on Saturday.
Wisbech however have strengthened their squad with four astute signings and on this showing it is little wonder they are already hot favourites to win the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division this season.
This game has now become an annual fixture in memory of former March players Karl Munton, Ben Whiteway and Daniel Runacres, who were killed in a car crash.
But for almost 30 minutes there was little between the two sides and March went close to taking the lead when James McDonough sent a volley just wide of the upright from the left hand side of the area. But things soon changed once Wisbech took the lead on 29 minutes when Anthony Reeve rose high at the far post to head home Rogan McGeorge’s cross.
Three minutes later March were undone again with another high ball into their area. This time Simon Mowbray supplied the cross for Chris Bacon to head the first of his three goals on the day.
A minute later Bacon forced a good save from a free kick at the foot of the post by Jack McKeown as Wisbech began to exert their superiority.
Stuart Anderson had a good chance to close the gap before the break when a long ball from defence was flicked on by Robbie Masters but Lea Jordan was quickly off his line to parry his former colleague’s shot wide of the target.
Any hopes of March getting back into the game after the interval disappeared within 10 minutes when second half substitute Dubi Ogbonna, replacing Adam Millson as Wisbech switched to 4-3-3, scored his fourth goal in three games to spark off a goal rush. He showed his skill beating three players before slotting home in good style.
A minute later another new Wisbech striker Mowbray ran 10 yards with the ball before he shot home from 22 yards to make it 4-0 and added his second from a McGeorge cut back two minutes later.
Wisbech were in total control now and made it four goals inside six minutes with Neal Spafford’s cross headed home by Bacon for his second and Wisbech’s sixth.
March did pull a goal back after 64 minutes with Wisbech again undone by a long ball and Anderson steered the ball over Jordan this time but was hardly in the mood to celebrate the goal too much.
Bacon completed his hat-trick after 73 minutes. Ogbonna had his shot blocked in the box and Bacon chipped the loose ball into the net for his hat-trick.
Reeve once again showed Wisbech’s superiority in the air and completed the 8-1 rout when heading home another corner from McGeorge, who had a hand in four goals and was very influential in midfield.
Before the end March’s diminutive substitute Sean White looked lively and after a well-worked move with Ben Lemmon sent a shot narrowly over the bar.
March’s new boss Paul Crosbie had promised his side would come out and attack Wisbech, but unfortunately that left them open at the back and Wisbech’s strength up front made sure they paid. They are going through transformation and will not meet a better team in the league this season than Wisbech, but the two sides are due to meet in the Ridgeons League Cup in two months time.
Crosbie reflected: “For over 25 minutes I thought we did all right and played some decent football, but then we lost a goal and we did just as we did against PNS. We did not back ourselves and our heads went down and we let them come on to us.
“At half-time we tried to put it right but we conceded an early goal and our heads went down again.
“Clearly what we need to work on is crosses with five of their goals coming that way.
“I am trying to get them to defend the zonal way, but everybody’s in the mindset that they have only got to mark a man and I want them to attack the ball. We also need to work on a little bit of self belief.
“Nobody wants to get beat 8-1 and I am disappointed but certainly not downbeat and it will not happen again this season. They are a very good side and we are still on a learning curve. We will be better when we meet them again in the cup.”
Steve Appleby was rightly upbeat about his side’s performance: “We got involved in a local derby early on with the game being played at 100 mph. We had players out there who should have dictated we played our own way and kept our shape. We will learn from that.
“That is what we spoke about at half-time and I think once we settled down we were different class.
“March are going through a transitional stage at present and it will take time but I am sure Paul will get things sorted out.”
March: Jack McKeown, Ash Spendelow, Stu Porter, Adam Sutton, Josh Westley, Sam Darlow; Aaron Bailey, Guilliano Staffieri, Stu Anderson, Robbie Masters, James McDonough. Subs used: Ben Collet, Aidan Hollis, Olly Cooper Clark, Sean White, Gary White, Ben Lemmon.
Wisbech: Lea Jordan, Jon Fairweather, Anthony Reeve, Neal Spafford; Callum Reed, Adam Millson, Steven Reid, Rogan McGeorge, Ollie Gale; Chris Bacon, Simon Mowbray. Subs used: Dubi Ogbonna, Max Mattless, Matt Lunn, Darren Jimson, Tom Roberts. Att: 220.