Wisbech hit Swaffham for five in sweltering pre-season friendly
Wisbech Town 5, Swaffham Town 0
No-one is getting carried away at Fountain Fresh Park, but manager Leon Mettam could not have wished for a better result in his first game in charge of the Fenmen.
In scorching temperatures this afternoon, a team made up of last season's reserve players, trialists and a couple of familiar faces were far too good for their visitors from south Norfolk.
After both sides finished bottom of their respective leagues last season, no-one knew quite what to expect from this Step 5 versus Step 6 clash, but it was the home side who finished the more optimistic for the challenges ahead.
Only goalkeeper Luke Pearson and left back Harrison Taylor remained from last season, with trialists Corey Wilson and Mo Jannah in attacking positions, new assistant manager Danny Brooks in central midfield and reserve players making up the rest of the team.
Familiar names from those who followed the second string last season included Dan Hempson, Marley Barrett, Warren and Ajay Jolly, Joe Harris and Robert Breide.
And the good news is, the team gelled together impressively, even after six second half changes, and look like a team that could at least be competitive when the United Counties League Premier Division North season starts in two weeks.
By the time Wisbech entertain AFC Mansfield in that fixture, new signings Kegan Everington and Jenk Acar will also be on board, with others also likely to come through the door.
Combative midfielder Everington (26), who has played for Lincoln City and Grantham, has been made club captain but missed today's game through Covid. Attacking player Acar (24), formerly of Spalding United and Skegness Town, will also add great experience to the squad.
The Pedlars looked slightly the better team in an ordinary opening third, but Wisbech took a 34th minute lead through a 30-yard pile driver from impressive midfielder Pat Kacirek.
Seconds into the second half and it was 2-0, Wilson, who was recommended by former Fenmen boss Gary Setchell, controlling a ball over the top well and finishing coolly. He'd seemed reluctant to shoot when in good positions in the opening period but this time did really well.
After 55 minutes it was 3-0 as a Kacirek shot from the edge of the area was deflected over the visiting keeper. And on the hour it was four as Jannah finished neatly from the edge of the area after a flowing move from the home team.
Mettam (read his thoughts here) then made six changes, but his side kept control and the new faces put as much effort in as those they replaced.
The final goal came in the 70th minute when sub Harley Murkin chased down the visiting keeper, who completely missed his kick, allowing the youngster to have some fun on the goal line before tapping in.
The manager has decided to cancel a planned game at Harborough in midweek in preference of an intense training session, before a final game at Mildenhall Town FC next Saturday.