Two for Adams as Wisbech complete end-of-season fixtures with another win
WISBECH TOWN 4, HUNTINGDON TOWN 1 (Friendly)
Wisbech rounded-off their end-of season friendly fixtures with a slightly flattering result against The Hunters.
Two goals from Liam Adams and efforts from Eoin McQuaid and Dan Dougill gave Step 4 Fenmen victory against fast and skilful Step 6 opponents.
After six wins and a defeat in this unique run of friendlies created by the the curtailing of the 2020-21 season and the end of lockdown, Brett Whaley's men now have just over three weeks to keep their fitness levels up before training starts for the 2021-22 season, ahead of eight pre-season friendlies from July 3 onwards.
And whisper it, but they do seem to have the basis of a pretty strong squad assembled for the forthcoming campaign.
On a beautiful sunny afternoon, the Fenmen faithful had their first chance to see the new-look outfit at home since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted - albeit on the back pitch at the Fenland Stadium.
It is clear that Whaley and assistant Chris Lenton have a tactical plan ready for the new season, with the team lining up with three central defenders, attacking wing backs and a high press.
Among them, the five players signed from Whaley's old club March Town are clearly going to play a key part. Wisbech-based Danny Emmington looked strong and athletic on the right side of central defence and has the game to be a home favourite, along with Tom McLeish, who impressed at left wing back.
Although playing with a slight knock, talented Toby Allen led the line well, Eoin McQuaid showed some good touches and scored from his attacking midfield role, and keeper Charlie Congreve made a couple of good saves after coming on in the second half - he also adds a good vocal presence to an otherwise quiet set of players.
Congreve will fight neck and neck for the keeper's jersey with Luke Pearson, who kept goal in the first half. Andre Williams had a decent game at right wing back, but will probably make way for the unavailable Aaron Hart when the season starts, and Kyle Davison-Gordon looked steady in central defence and more than capable when he switched to left wing back after the break.
That switch allowed the tall Ben Richards to slot into central defence, where he also looks a good addition.
Jack Keeble captained the Fenmen this afternoon from central defence and will be a big player next season if he keeps fit. Sam Murphy was as dependable as ever in midfield, alongside another former March player, Jack Rawson, who had a tidy first half before being substituted for Dan Dougill, who really impressed.
Jake Gadsden also came on during the second half, for Williams, but like Dougill, will be working in the USA and unavailable for much of next season.
The skilful, hard-working Liam Adams impressed alongside McQuaid, behind Allen, and will also be a key player for Wisbech next season.
With last season's captain Liam Marshall (defence or midfield), the influential Danny Draper (attacking midfield) and fit-again striker Avi Vieira also to come back into the team, Wisbech should start out in the Northern Premier League Midland Division with a strong squad.
Whaley will look to add another central defender, midfielder and striker before the August 14 kick-off, but apart from that, he now has a settled group who will already know each other well going into pre-season.
Wisbech made a flying start against Huntingdon, McQuaid firing home from close range after five minutes and Adams tapping in a second two minutes later after a McQuaid shot was saved.
McLeish, Adams and Allen were all denied by the visiting keeper as the home team dominated the opening half an hour, but Huntingdon grew into the game and pulled a goal back in the 43rd minute.
Huntingdon then had the better of the second half and only a great Congreve save prevented a 66th minute equaliser. At the other end, Adams forced a great save after a good Davison-Gordon cross, before Dougill drove home the third after 77 minutes and Adams stole the ball from a defender to make it 4-1 in the final minute.
Wisbech (5-2-2-1, l-r): Pearson (Congreve 45 mins); McLeish (Richards 45), Davison-Gordon, Keeble, Emmington, Williams (Gadsden 68); Rawson (Dougill 45), Murphy; Adams, McQuaid; Allen.