James shoots Fenmen into fourth round

Wisbech Town at home to Huntington Town. By the end of the first half Huntington were 4 - 0 up.
Wisbech Town at home to Huntington Town. By the end of the first half Huntington were 4 - 0 up.

Walsall Wood 0,

Wisbech Town 1

The Fenmen reached the FA Vase fourth round for the third year running after Tom James netted a last-minute goal.

In a game of few clear-cut opportunities, with the West Midlands outfit creating little, James missed a half-chance in the opening period before hitting the post after the break.

However the in-form forward made amends in the dying moments. Wisbech won the ball in midfield and it was switched out wide to Callum Reed, who put in James down the right hand side. The striker raced into the box and planted the ball home.

Joint Fenmen boss Scott Johnson said: “Because they had just lost the ball they were quite high up the pitch and square.

“It was one of those things where Tony Battersby would have been square with an open goal, but Tom took the shot and it went in. I don’t really remember our keeper having to make a save.”

Johnson said of their mid-table Midland Football Alliance Division One opponents: “Walsall were a strong, well-organised team.

“We both just cancelled each other out. It was quite evenly-matched. You could say a draw would have been a fair result but to nick it at the end was good.

“It’s all worked out rather well and a home tie in the next round would be nice for the supporters. We haven’t had a home tie for a while.”

Midfielder Steven Reid returned from suspension, while Jon Fairweather’s transfer to Spalding Utd was delayed so he could play in this tie at Wisbech’s request.

Johnson said of centre-half Fairweather in his farewell game: “He’s a good lad and he played well. We’ll miss him.

“It’s an ongoing thing with a replacement. We know we’re short of defenders and we’re looking at it.”

Because Lea Jordan was cup-tied the Fenmen signed goalkeeper Carl Mackney who has played for Godmanchester Rovers and St Ives Town this season.

Wisbech: Mackney, Doherty, Johnson, Fairweather, Spafford, Millson, White, Lunn, Reed, Battersby, James. Subs used: Jezeph, Reid. Unused: Tricks, Green.