On-fire Wisbech Town FC prove final is worth the wait

Cambridge City  v Wisbech Town in the final of the 2015/16 Cambs Invitation Cup at Newmarket Town ground.
Picture Mark Westley ANL-160825-132342009
Cambridge City v Wisbech Town in the final of the 2015/16 Cambs Invitation Cup at Newmarket Town ground. Picture Mark Westley ANL-160825-132342009
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Cambs Invitation Cup Final

Wisbech Town 4 Cambridge City 1

The much-delayed Cambs Invitation Cup final was worth waiting for as the Fenmen put higher-league Cambridge City to the sword on Wednesday night.

The showpiece on the impressive 3G surface at Newmarket Town, which was held over from last season, proved one-way traffic for Wisbech who made a mockery of Cambridge City’s proud record in the competition.

It was Dick Creasey’s charges who looked like the higher-league outfit for long periods of the night as they put their FA Cup exit to Peterborough Sports behind them in style.

Billy Smith, Harry Limb and Michael Frew scored for the Fenmen.

City’s Charlie Woolfe pulled a goal back in the second half before Luke Wilson restored the Fenmen’s three-goal advantage soon after.

A delighted Creasey said: “I thought we were exceptionally good in the first half. In the second half it was obvious that they were going to come to have a go.

“They got a goal, but we didn’t lose our shape and went down their end and got another one.

“Our front two worked their socks off, Sam Murphy at centre-half was superb, while Jack Friend took his chance tonight and did well.

“Like I said earlier this week, we haven’t been too bad this season. We were poor at Leicester Nirvana but other than that we’ve played well.

“I think we trusted the surface tonight as we’ve got a lot of very good footballers.

“There were some excellent individual displays but, above all, it was an excellent team performance.”

Creasey’s joy was not matched by his opposite number Dan Gleeson who tore into his Southern League players after their shabby display.

Gleeson said: “Inexperience is no excuse,” he said.

“That was pathetic, absolutely pathetic. Players come to me asking ‘why am I not playing, why am I not in the side?’

“On that performance, that’s exactly why they’re not in the side.

“We made six or seven changes but to come out here and perform like that is unacceptable.”

The Lilywhites started the brighter of the two sides with Alex Serrano and Woolfe both going close before Wisbech began to grow into the game.

The impressive Harry Limb and Curtis Knight made Wisbech’s intentions clear but it wasn’t long before Creasey’s charges had got their noses in front.

Skipper Adam Millson delivered a cross from the right and Smith found himself in acres of space to fire the Fenmen in front.

Former Wisbech player James Tricks hit the woodwork at the other end but a defensive lapse midway through the first period allowed the United Counties League side to double their advantage.

Serrano conceded possession on the halfway line and Jack Friend’s determination paid dividends when he played in Limb to apply a finish which belied his tender years.

It went from bad to worse for City nine minutes before the break when they failed to clear a corner and Frew pounced to net with a deft half-volley from close range.

City made a number of changes at the interval and they did reduce the arrears when the busy Jon Kaye picked out Woolfe to reduce the arrears.

But all of City’s endeavour at the start of the second period was wasted when they went to sleep at a Wisbech free-kick and Wilson bundled home from an acute angle at the far post.

Kaye hit the post late on but Wisbech - making their first appearance in the final since 2009/10 - were good value for their first silverware of the campaign.

City: Smith, Cooper, Femiola (Lees 72), Williams, Loker, Serrano (Alderson 46), Kaye, Richardson, Castiglione, Tricks (Wright 46), Woolfe. Sub not used: Ashley.

Wisbech Town: Lovelace, Friend, Knight (Cobb 74), Murphy, Wilson, Millson, Buzas, Kennedy (Whyatt 77), Frew, Limb, Smith. Subs not used: Cousins, Hipwell.

Booked: City – none; Wisbech – none.

Referee: Anthony Da Costa.