FA Vase First Round Proper
Wisbech Town 0
Beleaguered Wisbech Town boss Brett Whaley was left frustrated by the officials as his side exited the FA Vase at the first round stage.
Whaley saw his side reduced to nine men in a controversial clash at the Elgoods Stadium which Northampton-based referee Daniel Glazewski struggled to control.
The Fenmen had Billy Smith sent-off in the first half before Steven Reid followed him for an early bath in the second period.
Whaley said: “There were some very big decisions and they didn’t go our way today.
“I think the referee has been influenced by the reaction of their players and that’s not good in football matches.
“When you are questioning the officials and not the way the team has played it says it all.
“That hurt out there today, but the players showed what it meant to them when it would have been been easy to get involved with the referee who was the focal point of the game.”
The first half red card for Smith could have gone either way, with one of his feet leaving the ground, but the reaction of the Alvechurch players certainly didn’t help his cause.
Whaley said: “From where I was, Billy has gone in with one foot and his other foot has slipped.
“For me it was a yellow card. The red has come from the reaction of the opposition and not for the challenge itself.”
Just minutes before Smith’s dismissal, the referee failed to stamp his authority on one of a number of flash points with a couple of visiting players lucky not to have received at least a yellow card.
Whaley was left further incensed when an apparent elbow by Karl Edwards on Jon Fairweather went unpunished in the first half.
“When you look back at their number nine elbowing Jonno in the face and he didn’t give us a free-kick, was it because he didn’t roll over and shout a lot,” added Whaley.
Smith’s early dismissal just rubbed salt in the Wisbech wounds but the Fenmen still remained the better side in the first 45 minutes.
Ross Watson and Michael Frew both went close for the Fenmen after the hosts were quick out of the blocks.
Six minutes before the interval Connor Deards’ free-kick was glanced into the net by Joshua March.
Eight minutes into the second half, Jack Cresswell pressed Watson in the box as they chased a bouncing ball before the visiting player went down and the referee had no option but to award a penalty.
Connor Deards converted the spot-kick despite an unlucky Aaron Butcher pushing the ball onto the inside of the post.
Five minutes later it was 3-0 after Edwards brilliantly volleyed home a Cresswell corner.
The afternoon went from bad to worse for Wisbech when Reid picked up his second yellow card of the tie and Wisbech were left to play the final 30 minutes with just nine men.
“Reidy made a bad challenge in the first half on the back of their player,” said Whaley.
“He then gets sent-off for a challenge where he went in physically and won the ball and didn’t take the man.”
In the first minute of stoppage time, Zack Foster and Dilarmo Reid combined down the left before playing a precision pass into Edwards to score his second goal of the afternoon.
“I don’t think the scoreline reflected the game and I felt we were in control of the match until 15 minutes into the second half,” said Whaley.
Wisbech Town: Butcher, Wilson, Johnson, Watson, Fairweather, Millson, Sparrow (Kennedy 65), Reid, Frew (Brand 70), Hughes (Bacon 41), Smith. Subs not used: Cousins, Bromfield.