Wisbech bounce back with battling point against Spalding
Wisbech Town 0, Spalding United 0
Pitching In Northern Premier League Midland Division
After last week's first half capitulation away at Stamford, Wisbech manager Brett Whaley demanded a reaction from his players against early season promotion favourites Spalding – and he got one.
The Fenmen worked hard all over the field, won second balls, dealt well with the Tulips attacking threat and had a couple of gilt-edged chances to beat the visitors' big defence and win the game.
Jack Keeble started his first game of the season, after injury, at right back and added a lot of bite to the team, with usual right back Aaron Hart industriously partnering the hard-working Wilson Chingoka in defensive midfield. Sam Murphy played in front of them and provided an attacking threat.
The experienced central defensive partnership of Jon Fairweather and Luke Wilson dealt comfortably with Spalding's attackers and Luke Pearson was assured in claiming a third clean sheet in eight appearances between the sticks since making the position his own.
Captain Liam Marshall put in his best home performance of the season at left back and took some great free kicks, while Danny Draper went back out to the right wing and, as always, worked his socks off. Attacking pair Dylan Edge and Toby Allen were not at their best, but both put in a good shift.
With each team having several players who had previously played for the opposition (Wisbech – Marshall, Murphy, Ben Richards, Avi Vieira, Spalding – Jordan Macleod, Dan Bucciero and Liam Adams), the game was fiercely fought, if lacking in real quality.
There was not a single chance of note for either side in a tight first half, but Wisbech could have taken the lead three minutes after the break when a tempting free kick into the box saw Murphy rise high but head wide when he should have done better.
A minute later and Ben Stakie found himself one-on-one with Pearson, only for the Wisbech keeper to smother the ball at his feet.
The next chance fell to Murphy again when Draper's pass set him away after 68 minutes, but long serving Tulips keeper Michael Duggan pulled off a great save to deny him. Four minutes later and a corner was headed out to Jon Fairweather, who volleyed inches wide for the home team.
Ten minutes from end and it was Spalding's turn to rue their luck, Stakie's superb ball from the left putting away Macleod, but his control let him down in front of goal and Pearson pounced on the loose ball.
Wisbech Town (4-3-3): Pearson: Keeble, Fairweather, Wilson, Marshall; Hart, Murphy, Chingoka (Maddison 86 mins); Draper, Edge (Vieira 67 (Warren 75), Allen. Subs (not used): Richards, McQuaid.
Spalding United: Duggan, Cartwright, Ward, R Yala (Bucciero 59), Stainfield, Emmanuel, Ethan, Broccoli, G Yala (Adams 55 (Olivant 69), Macleod, Stakie. Subs (not used): Price, Hugo.
Bookings: Wisbech – Draper (dissent); Spalding – G Yala, R Yala, Bojang (all fouls).
Star man: Danny Draper – October's Player of the Month put in another great shift.
Before the game a Remembrance event took place on the pitch, complete with a a minute's silence, which was observed impeccably by all.