Lunn saves the Fenmen an early FA Cup exit

Wisbech Town first XI Football v  Brantham 'Matt Lunn
Wisbech Town first XI Football v Brantham 'Matt Lunn

Wisbech Town 1, Desborough 1

MATT Lunn’s powerful header eight minutes from time saved the Fenmen from an FA Cup exit at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium on Saturday.

Wisbech v Desborough FA CUP

Wisbech v Desborough FA CUP

Steve Appleby’s side were below par for the second week running at home and an embarrassing defeat looked on the cards until substitutes Lunn and McGeorge conjured up the equaliser.

Certainly Appleby was not impressed with his team’s performance and said: “We can play 50 per cent better and sometimes we need to play percentage football, rather than stick to playing football, football and we have to mix it up a little.

“We have not played that well but have had good chances in the first half and could have put the game to bed. Had we scored first I have no doubt we would have won.”

Appleby reverted to a 4-4-2 formation with McGeorge left on the bench as he had not fully recovered from Tuesday night’s head injury at Haverhill.

Wisbech v Desborough FA CUP

Wisbech v Desborough FA CUP

Wisbech started the game brightly enough and Dubi Ogbonna and Ollie Gale both had mis-hit shots saved while Lea Jordan did well to keep out a cross that was dipping under his crossbar at the other end.

But the best chance for the Fenmen came after 17 minutes when Scott Johnson’s long ball from defence put Chris Bacon clear, but his attempt to chip the goalkeeper was a shade too high.

Against a hard-working Desborough side that had a mix of experience and youth, Wisbech found it difficult to break them down but in the last two minutes of the first half they had two excellent chances. First Neal Spafford, operating on the right of midfield, had his shot from six yards blocked by the keeper and then Ogbonna tried to force home the loose ball only for a defender to clear off the line.

Wisbech were not at their best in the first 45 minutes but still had the chances to have taken a massive stake in the game. But as so often happens when you miss the opportunities you are left to pay and after 61 minutes Desborough took the lead.

The hard-working Jon Mitchell, who was always a threat, went past Johnson on the right and his centre across the face of the goal was turned into the net by Dan Kitching.

It might have been 2-0 but Jordan reacted quickly to smother the ball as a Desborough player closed in to score. Appleby sent on subs Lunn and McGeorge for Gale and Spafford and Lunn soon made a run into the box only for his shot to be blocked by the Desborough goalkeeper.

Wisbech continued to press and were finally rewarded with eight minutes to go when Bacon chased a ball into the corner and fed McGeorge to cross into the middle where Lunn met the ball with a powerful header into the away net.

A minute later McGeorge headed over from a Ogbonna cross, but Desborough held on and it would have been hard on Wisbech to have not had a second chance.

Wisbech: Lea Jordan; Jon Fairweather, Paul Cousins, Stacy Cartwright, Scott Johnson; Neal Spafford. Adam Millson, Steven Reid, Ollie Gale; Chris Bacon, Dubi Ogbonna. Subs used: Matt Lunn, Rogan McGeorge.

Att: 253.