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Wisbech Town FC on this day in history

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1964: A Southern League Premier Division game at Fenland Park against Wellington Town (now known as AFC Telford), after an exciting opening, tailed off into a dull encounter.

After Fred Howell and Eric Porter had missed sitters early in the game, speedy centre-forward Bentley put the visitors ahead when Ray Chandler was caught out of position. Cocker quickly made it 2-0 from a penalty conceded when Harry Noon handled to save a certain goal.

But immediately a well-taken goal by David Jennings put Wisbech back in the picture and eight minutes later, in the 29th minute, Porter slammed in a shot which Brown could only help into the net.

David Jennings (33591567)
David Jennings (33591567)

It was mostly Wisbech after this but despite their pressure they could not add to their total.

That was the Fenmen’s last home game of the season. Their last game was away to Wellington which they won by the one goal, scored by Alan Withers to give an 11th place in the final league table.

David Jennings made 301 plus four sub appearances for the Fenmen and scored 49 goals.

1972: Arthur Rudd, the Eastern Counties League secretary, last week praised Wisbech for turning apparent draws into wins in the closing minutes of a match: “That’s championship stuff,” he said.

And Wisbech did it again when they visited Clacton Town and won by four goals to two, doing better than they did the week before against the same opposition when they only won by two goals to one

They took the lead in the first minute with a goal from Barrie Sewell, were two goals to one down at the interval, levelled matters soon after the re-start with a goal from Lester Newell and then hit two goals in the last three minutes. Bill Clarkson and Tony Bissett the marksman.

Bill Clarkson (33591572)
Bill Clarkson (33591572)

Bill Clarkson – a Fenmen legend – made 602 appearances plus one as sub and scored 43 goals.

1980: Enjoying a good run of form, the Fenmen made the short journey to March Town for a Town & Country League fixture.

At the start, exchanges were even, but in the 19th minute it was the Fenmen who went ahead. An in-swinging right-wing corner by Steve Brown reached Paul Furness and his near-post header reached the far post where it hit the woodwork and went in.

Five minutes later, March were level. Player-coach Dave Eldred hit a free kick from 25 yards and, although he did not seem to connect properly, the ball beat Trevor Farrow who got a hand to it.

Jackie Gallagher (33591575)
Jackie Gallagher (33591575)

March thought they might hang on for a draw, but they were lucky to survive after 70 minutes when Jackie Gallagher, who made his Football League debut with Peterborough United on the Saturday, curled in a “goal” from a free kick which the referee disallowed.

Just five minutes later Andy Blunden skipped down the left-wing and set up Robin Sainty for the winning goal.

Gallagher – yet another Wisbech legend – made 273 appearances plus 31 as sub, and scored 150 goals over 18 seasons.

In his first season for Wisbech in 1974/75 he made three appearances plus two as sub. He scored his first goal for the Fenmen in a 5-0 win over Willingham in the Cambs Invitation Cup Final second leg.

His last appearance for the Fenmen saw him come on as sub for the last few minutes in last game of 2007/08 season in the Ridgeons Eastern League game v Woodbridge Town on May – and he nearly scored!

1998: With two games left to play this season, the Fenmen made it five wins from six league games with an impressive 3-0 victory over Paget Rangers to move closer to the top five of the Dr Martens Midland Division.

The game started on a sticky pitch which was made worse at the start of the second half by a torrential downpour.

After dominating much of the play it took until the 44th minute for Wisbech to take the lead when Kevin Topliss lifted a pass over the home defence to Peter Munns who went round the keeper and fired home.

Peter Munns (33591579)
Peter Munns (33591579)

In the first minute after the interval Wisbech got their second when Shaun Keeble beat a defender before firing into the top left hand corner, his ninth goal in six games.

Wisbech made the points safe on 52 minutes when Jason Bowler was put clean through by Keeble before picking a spot in the back of the net.

The attendance at the Sutton Coldfield ground where Paget Rangers were playing whilst their new ground was being built, was a paltry 82. The Fenmen went on to win their last two games to finish in fifth place.

Peter Munns – a very popular player at Fenland Park – was one of the best strikers who has played for the Fenmen. He learned a lot from Jackie Gallagher on joining from Chatteris Town. He won the Jewson League “Golden Boot” award in Season 1996/97.

He made 235 appearances plus eight as sub and scored 110 goals before joining Histon in 2000.

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