Wisbech net late penalty but are deservedly beaten at home to county rivals Histon
Wisbech Town 1, Histon 2
Pitching In Northern Premier League Midland Division
A late penalty from Dylan Edge did little to cover over a multitude of sins as the Fenmen surrendered meekly to their Cambridgeshire rivals tonight (Tuesday).
Against a side who will most likely be scrapping around the bottom places with them, Wisbech did not show enough fight or determination to beat a group of players of similar quality.
Unfortunately for the home faithful, buoyed by an FA Cup victory against lower league opposition on Saturday, it seemed their team were given a false sense of their own prowess by the win.
In the Northern Premier League, teams have to battle for 90 minutes and once again this evening, too many Fenmen players went missing when the going got tough. They now sit bottom of the table with three defeats from three games.
With striker Avi Vieira and winger Andre Williams loaned to United Counties League Pinchbeck United for the evening to get some minutes in the bank before the Bank Holiday weekend double header against Chasetown (away on Saturday) and Yaxley (home on Monday), manager Brett Whaley brought back Peterborough Sports loan duo Mark Jones and Mitch Griffiths at centre forward and right back respectively.
Left back Tom Mcleish was out after picking up an injury on Saturday, but the two Liams, Marshall and Adams, returned to the bench, where striker Dylan Edge was also dropped to.
In a dull first half, Histon - yet to avoid defeat this season – looked short on confidence, and Wisbech short on ambition. Toby Allen saw two shots in the first 10 minutes whiz wide but home keeper Charlie Congreve had to be alert in between those two attacks to thwart Finley Wilkinson after he was given far too much time to dribble and shoot.
Towards the half hour mark, Danny Draper saw an angled effort deflected wide and good play between the wide man and Jones created a chance for Eoin McQuaid, but he dragged his effort past the post.
As a half short on quality stuttered towards an ends, Congreve rushed out of goal to save impressively against Bahador Camara and, at the other end, visiting keeper Sam Roach denied Draper.
It did appear that Wisbech had responded to some home truths at the break as they came out attacking in the second half, Toby Allen seeing a rasping 47th minute effort clear the bar when he should have tested Roach.
But in the 51st minute, Sam Murphy – Wisbech's best player in this early stage of the season – was replaced by club captain Liam Marshall after receiving an ankle injury, and the home team paid for his absence dearly. Within two minutes, centre back Ben Richards was booked for hauling down his man and, in the 55th minute, Wisbech pressed the self destruct button.
Keeper Congreve decided to roll the ball out to Griffiths when he was too close to a forward to receive the ball, but the otherwise-impressive veteran defender still had time to launch it, but chose to try to retain possession and was robbed by Histon captain Ed Rolph, who slotted home.
Fenmen manager Whaley threw on striker Edge to replace McQuaid, who had looked so comfortable against opposition sitting back on Saturday but this evening had made little impact against a snappier, stronger team.
Marshall, slotting into central midfield, miscued a chance to pull level on the hour, and two minutes later, the Wisbech defence was nowhere to be seen as a cross from the left found an unmarked Finley Wilkinson to head home from six yards.
The home fans were now pleading with their team to show some attacking spirit, but there was little. Jones headed a 70th minute Draper corner wide, and a minute later Draper himself struck a shot well from outside the box, but found the keeper's gloves.
Histon were sitting back now and Wisbech faced an eight man defence, which they nearly beat in the 82nd minute when sub Cameron Gow's corner was deflected on to a post and clear.
They finally pulled a goal back four minutes from the end when Draper was pulled back in the box and Edge emphatically buried the spot kick. But there was to be no grandstand finish and Wisbech deserved nothing but defeat.
WISBECH (4-3-3): Congreve; Griffiths, Fairweather (C), Richards, Hart; Maddison (Gow 73 mins), Murphy (Marshall 51), McQuaid (Edge 57); Draper, Jones, Allen. Subs (not used): Adams, Pearson.
BOOKED: Richards (foul).
STAR MAN: Aaron Hart – defended and attacked well in an unfamiliar left back position.