Appleby tight-lipped over top of table loss

Wisbech v Brantham football action
Wisbech v Brantham football action

Wisbech Town 0, Brantham 1

The Fenmen lost a top of the table clash to a controversial solitary second half goal at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium in the Ridgeons League Premier on Saturday.

The visitors ended Wisbech’s eight-game unbeaten league run. The result leaves Wisbech fourth in the table, six points behind second spot Brantham and seven points behind leaders Wroxham. However, the Fenmen have a game in hand over both their title rivals.

Boss Steve Appleby declined to comment on a frustrating afternoon. He said: “I’m best not speaking to the press because I’m outraged and would end up saying something I shouldn’t.”

Wisbech had few good chances, especially in the second half, to win the game but they could not convert any to beat a resolute Brantham team.

Referee Mr Turner caused controversy by awarding a free-kick on the edge of the area which led to what proved to be the winner.

The free-kick was awarded for a ‘foot up’ but the away player had ducked his head down and the hosts hotly disputed the decision.

Prolific Brantham scorer Ollie Mann has already netted 18 times this season to lead the Ridgeons Premier scoring charts so the home side could have been forgiven for expecting a stab at goal.

Instead of this Mann chipped the ball into the area, and hesitation by the home team’s defence and goalkeeper Ryan Rayner – who made a good save later on in the match – was fatal as Adam Bloss headed home into the net.

More controversy came in the second half as Wisbech, who already had a penalty shout turned down in the opening period, were denied an even better appeal.

Sam Murphy – sent on as a sub at half-time by manager Appleby – was just two yards out waiting for the chance to dispatch a loose ball in front of him but he appeared to be pulled back by the arm of a Brantham defender.

Wisbech: Rayner, Spafford, Johnson, Cartwright, Reeve, Reed, Thompson, Reid, Fairweather, Nimmo, Lunn. Subs used: Murphy, Gale.