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Wisbech relegated with a whimper



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Soham Town Rangers 2, Wisbech Town 0

Pitching In Northern Premier League Midland Division

After three years of flirting with relegation, Wisbech finally lost their Step 4 status this afternoon after one of their poorest performances of the season.

Despondent captain Luke Wilson. Photo: ERIN LARHAM
Despondent captain Luke Wilson. Photo: ERIN LARHAM

And the Fenman will in all probability finish bottom of the table after defeat this afternoon to Cambridgeshire rivals who occupied that position at kick-off time.

Knowing victory would leave them having to beat leaders Ilkeston Town on Saturday to have a chance of reaching the relegation play-off spot, travelling fans were expecting the kind of spirit that saw Wisbech end a 14-game losing streak with that explosive 5-1 win at Histon nine days ago.

But, after having a fifth minute Sam Bennett goal disallowed for offside, the Fenmen never got going again and failed to have a shot on goal as their four season stay at non-league's fourth level was ended with a whimper.

This early Sam Bennett goal was deemed offside. Photo: ERIN LARHAM
This early Sam Bennett goal was deemed offside. Photo: ERIN LARHAM

In a game which showed exactly why Soham and Wisbech occupy the division's bottom positions, Soham took the lead in the 38th minute when the visitors gave away a needless corner and captain Luke Wilson headed the subsequent set piece into his own net.

Heads immediately went down and a Joe Carden volley for Soham just cleared the bar before Ollie Ward lost his footing in the box with the goal at his mercy, leaving Wisbech lucky to only trail 1-0 at the interval.

If the first half was bad, the second was worse, with both sides failing to string good passes together and the final ball all too often inaccurate as players fouled and bickered their way into the referee's book.

With the visitors building up a slight head of steam in the dying moments, they were hit on the break and Hilton Arthur ran half the length of the pitch, rounded Luke Pearson in the Wisbech goal and sealed the Fenmen's fate.

The faces say it all as Wisbech go 1-0 down. Photo: ERIN LARHAM
The faces say it all as Wisbech go 1-0 down. Photo: ERIN LARHAM

After the match, manager Allan Ross said: "The lads are really hurting in there. They just didn't get to grips with the game today. There was little quality on the pitch and I suppose over the last couple of games it's been proven we don't have the quality.

"We just don't have that high calibre player or two that can make things happen from dead situations."

Asked about his own future, Ross added: "To be honest it looks very unlikely I will stay for next season because if the chairman wanted me, I think he would be trying to tie me down. If I was in with a shout I think he would have said and would have given me time to talk to current players about next season.

Wisbech prepare to attack a first half corner. Photo: ERIN LARHAM
Wisbech prepare to attack a first half corner. Photo: ERIN LARHAM

"I haven't had the opportunity to have that chat with the chairman so I take it that it's not happening. It will be a shame not to be here as I feel I've built my management team well and I feel we have a solid foundation to build from."

But if the final game of the season on Saturday, at home to Ilkeston, is his last game, he is looking forward to it: "I think the relationship I built up with the fans was fantastic. They really welcomed me and they know I'll leave this dressing room in a far better position than I found it in.

"Saturday is an opportunity for me to thank the fans regardless of my position and for the fans to say thank you to the players who have stuck with us."

Avi Vieira came on as a second half sub.Photo: ERIN LARHAM
Avi Vieira came on as a second half sub.Photo: ERIN LARHAM

Wisbech Town: Pearson, Lewis (Vieira 64 mins), Taylor, Keeble, Wilson, Maddison, Hempson (Newman 46), Armond (Kelly 46), Bennett, Murphy, Draper. Subs (not used): Adebayo, Lukyamuzi.

Soham Town Rangers: Iron, Chipps (Rogers 85 mins), Kettle, Mattless, Atcha, Watson (Groves 90), Connor, Kaye, Ward (Elumelu 46), Carden, Arthur. Sub (not used): Jefferies.

Booked: Mattless, Elumelu, Iron (Soham); Lewis, Armond (Wisbech).

Star man: Sam Bennett - showed a few glimpses of the quality lacking in his team-mates today.

Attendance: 169.

Luke Wilson battles for possession. Photo: ERIN LARHAM
Luke Wilson battles for possession. Photo: ERIN LARHAM
A second half Wisbech corner.Photo: ERIN LARHAM
A second half Wisbech corner.Photo: ERIN LARHAM


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