Call-off a double blow for Fenmen

WISBECH Town were left without a game on Saturday when Great Yarmouth could not raise a team and it has left manager Steve Appleby with real problems for the Boxing Day game at Ely City.

As a result he is now looking to sign a loan player for the two games against Ely and Wroxham.

In the morning Yarmouth had just seven players to make the trip, but Appleby was reluctant to criticise Yarmouth and commented: “Yarmouth manager Mike Derbyshire phoned me to personally apologise for their no-show.

“It’s no secret that they have problems and a certain amount of what we discussed will remain private, but it’s pretty clear that they have reached rock bottom, but as they say ‘the only way is up’.

“I’ll be honest and admit that my first reaction on hearing the news was anger as it means we will now have five players missing from the Boxing Day game.

“But then when you look at the bigger picture you see a club that is in trouble and although they wouldn’t want us to feel sorry for them, they are a fantastic club with a long history and I wish them all the best as they try to get back on their feet.

“They will get a lot of stick as they try to get things right on and off the pitch and I don’t feel that wading in all guns blazing is the best way to help a fellow club.

“I’d like to pay my respects to Mike and thank him for taking the time to contact me. In this day and age, it can easily happen to any team and while we all enjoy the good times, sometimes things don’t go so well and you have to accept that.

“Sometimes people forget how much energy and dedication is needed running a club at this level and how much commitment is expected of managers and players alike. If anything it has reminded us of the need to pull together when things are going against you.”

Yarmouth face a £500 fine and the game has been re-arranged for April 7 and the away match will be on February 18.

Stacy Cartwright and Liam Nimmo were due to miss the Yarmouth game anyway with bans but they are now held over to the Ely game. Defender Anthony Reeve misses the Boxing Day game too with a ban for five bookings. Skipper Scott Johnson is away and Ollie Gale is working.

Appleby said: “The game being called off is a double blow and we are so stretched I will have to try and bring a player in for short spell for cover for the Ely and Wroxham games.

“I do know a couple of players who would come tomorrow on a permanent basis, but I am happy with the players I have and would prefer to bring a player in on loan so I will be busy on the phone. It was just as well we brought in Ollie Pinner last week as he can play in a number of positions.”

Callum Reed, who was expected to play some part on Saturday, and Chris Bacon have also been nursing injuries but Appleby said: “The extra time should make sure they are ready for Ely.

“It seems whenever we play the top teams we have a handful of players missing; it was the same in the FA Cup against Wroxham. It will make it a very tough game against Ely who have done well this season and deserve to be where they are. They also seem to be playing more football this season too.”

Wisbech remain in fifth place but, with Wroxham drawing 0-0 at Woodbridge, they have not lost too much ground.