MATCH VERDICT AND VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Happy return for Ford in FA Cup replay

Michael Duggan and Adam Jackson can only watch as the ball goes into the net
Michael Duggan and Adam Jackson can only watch as the ball goes into the net
  • Emirates FA Cup preliminary round replay - Spalding United 0 Wisbech Town 2

Normally, you get what you deserve – and there could be no complaints over Tuesday’s result.

The lower-ranked side were much better on the night.

Although Spalding United looked bang average, credit must go to Wisbech Town for a terrific performance.

Josh Ford celebrated a happy return to the Sir Halley Stewart Field with a free-kick which put the Fenmen ahead.

Billy Smith’s late effort doubled the advantage and there was no way back for the Tulips.

Having shared four goals on Saturday in an even game, the replay was a different story.

While Wisbech remained positive, Spalding were quite simply not even close to being good enough.

The Tulips changed the system in a bid to get on top but they struggled to create a clear-cut chance.

Goalkeeper Sam Vince’s mistake almost provided a first-minute gift for Gary King but the striker’s chip was pushed away.

King and Jack Fixter both failed to test Vince following Lee Beeson’s free-kicks while Paul Walker also missed the target after the best moment by Liam Harris on his full debut.

The second goal

The second goal

Vince kept out skipper Adam Jackson’s long-range drive just after Ford broke the deadlock.

Matt Varley was unhappy to be penalised for a foul on Ford but the former Spalding striker smashed the 25-yard free-kick past the wall and Michael Duggan.

Wisbech had already seen penalty appeals rejected when they thought Ellis Humble blocked Adam Millson’s shot with his hand.

However, from going 1-0 up, the Fenman kept control to manage the second half without many problems.

Celebrations for Wisbech

Celebrations for Wisbech

Duggan denied Smith at the near post but it was game over when he found the far corner of the net with nine minutes left.

Jonny Lockie’s volley was a rare occasion when Spalding offered any threat.

Marcel Chipamaunga – part of the under-21 squad – came on to have a couple of shots but by then it was too late for a comeback which had never looked likely anyway.

Last weekend, Spalding stepped up the tempo and earned a second chance with a big improvement after the break.

This time, though, there was a lack of creativity when Harris and Lockie couldn’t take the opportunity to make an impact.

The Tulips’ first cup tie at home since November 2015 ended in disappointment as the Fenman celebrated with a bit of banter by adopting Spandau Ballet’s Gold as the post-match song which Spalding have used many times in the past 12 months.

Photos by Tim Wilson

Photos by Tim Wilson

SPALDING UNITED

4-2-3-1: Duggan; Walker, Spafford, Humble, Jackson; Beeson, Varley; Fixter (sub Higginson 70 mins), Harris (sub Chipamaunga 65 mins), Lockie; King (sub McGhee 81 mins). Sub not used: Smith.

WISBECH TOWN

4-3-3: Vince; Emmington, Wilson, Stevens, Yong; Murphy, Fairweather, Millson; Ford (sub Buzas 90 mins), Frew (sub Beck 88 mins), Smith. Subs not used: Hamilton, Baldry, Knight, Cousins.

REFEREE

Robert Evans.

GOALS

Ford (36 mins, 0-1); Smith (81 mins, 0-2).

BOOKINGS

King, Beeson, Varley (fouls); Stevens, Ford (dissent).

ATTENDANCE

303

ENTERTAINMENT

★★★

Sam Vince punches clear

Sam Vince punches clear