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Looking back at how Wisbech Town fared on this day in 1972, 1978, 1989 and 2017



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There was a big cheer from the 710 spectators for player/manager Mel Harnwell in 1972 when he led out Wisbech at Fenland Park against Clacton Town. A bigger cheer greeted a fifth minute goal from Lester Newell.

In the 41st minute Clacton equalised and despite terrific pressure from the home side the Seasiders managed to hold out until five minutes from time when Harnwell beat two defenders and the advancing keeper to slot home the winner which ensured the Eastern Counties League championship for the Fenmen.

Lester Newell’s team, the reigning champions of the ECL, were having an indifferent season but came good in their away match against Histon in 1978.

Wisbech Town 1971/72: Standing – Sam Malpass (trainer), Eric Porter, Ken Wingfield, David Beaver, Dave Brenchley, Geoff Biggs and Kenny Stannard; Seated: Bill Clarkson, Lester Newell, Mel Harnwell and mascot Martin Plumb, Tony Bisset, Barrie Sewell and Roy McManus.
Wisbech Town 1971/72: Standing – Sam Malpass (trainer), Eric Porter, Ken Wingfield, David Beaver, Dave Brenchley, Geoff Biggs and Kenny Stannard; Seated: Bill Clarkson, Lester Newell, Mel Harnwell and mascot Martin Plumb, Tony Bisset, Barrie Sewell and Roy McManus.

A well-taken hat trick from newly-promoted centre- forward David Leake was the highlight of their fine 4-1 away win, gained after conceding a shock fourth minute goal.

But it was no less than the Fenmen deserved, for they were yards quicker on the ball and repeatedly put the Histon defence under terrific pressure. Roy McManus was the other Wisbech marksman.

A goal four minutes from time earned Wisbech Town a home victory over Felixstowe Town and three points to maintain their Jewson League title challenge in 1989.

Wisbech Town 1977/78: Standing – Barry Malpass, John Duncliffe, Lloyd Hudson, Phil Ringwood, Gary Rider and Eric Porter. Kneeling – Roy McManus, Malcolm Lindsay, Bill Feary, Jimmy Wilson, Mick Winters and David Clarke. Mascot: Mark Plumb
Wisbech Town 1977/78: Standing – Barry Malpass, John Duncliffe, Lloyd Hudson, Phil Ringwood, Gary Rider and Eric Porter. Kneeling – Roy McManus, Malcolm Lindsay, Bill Feary, Jimmy Wilson, Mick Winters and David Clarke. Mascot: Mark Plumb

After an evenly contested opening, the Fenmen took charge and never looked like being beaten. Indeed, during the course of the game, goalkeeper Lee Turner was not called upon to make a save.

All looked set for a scoreless draw until the 86th minute when Dave Massingham hammered home a right-wing cross from Gary Rider, who gave a sound performance in midfield.

Player-manager Phil Ward gave the visitors credit for their tactics, but was nevertheless happy with the victory.

The attendance was 380.

Wisbech Town had to come from behind to beat Sleaford Town in the United Counties League at the Fenland Stadium in 2017.

Wisbech Town 1988/89 (33269401)
Wisbech Town 1988/89 (33269401)

The visitors went ahead inside the opening minute, a deflected shot giving Sam Vince no chance in the Wisbech goal.

Dick Creasey’s half-time pep-talk had the desired effect and Michael Frew put the Fenmen level four minutes after the restart, smashing the ball in the net from 12 yards after a poor clearance from a corner fell straight to him.

Wisbech took the lead in the 56th minute; a Billy Smith free kick was flicked on to Sam Murphy, whose shot was blocked by McGann but Luke Wilson was on hand to put away the rebound.

Billy Smith (33269386)
Billy Smith (33269386)

Smith put the game beyond doubt in the 75th minute when he robbed a defender and lobbed the keeper from 15 yards.

The attendance was 180.



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