Cup tie could be a classic

Wisbech manager Steve Appleby is calling Saturday’s home First Qualifying Round FA Cup tie with Wroxham “a big game” but he does not expect quite as big a crowd as in the previous round.

Nearly 2,000 fans watched last week’s two epic clashes with local rivals March Town.

Appleby is not anticipating that level of support at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium for this clash of two leading teams in the Ridgeons League Premier.

He explained: “It’s a big test, a big game and it could be a classic.

“Wroxham are a big club who have been winning the league over so long a period.

“The March game got that crowd because it was a local derby with interest on both sides.

“Wroxham are in our league and we’ve played each other many times so some people might see it as just another round.”

He wants to use the game as a yardstick to measure the Fenmen’s progress if they have any serious title aspirations.

Appleby added: “They are what Wisbech needs to aspire to, they’re the ones you look up to.

“It will be close either way. Both teams know each other inside out, it will probably be about who performs on the day.

“They’re second in the league, we’re in third and both teams will be wanting to progress.

“We want to go as far as we can.”

Surprisingly, Wisbech have met Wroxham just once previously – at the same stage in September 1999.

A crowd of 505 watched Wisbech prevail 3-1, with the scorers being Andy Furnell, Dave Robertson and Tuncay Korkmaz.

Appleby continued: “We just want to keep our run going. When you’re in all these cup games you can take your eye off the league for a bit.

“The cup’s all about glory – you’re never going to win it, and we hope it doesn’t distract us from the league.”

Callum Reed and Steve Reid should be available after injury, for the bench at least, for last night’s game at home to Haverhill and for the weekend.

Appleby expects club skipper Scott Johnson and Anthony Reeve to still be missing.

Ridgeons League second spot Wroxham lost their 100 per cent record last Tuesday evening after a goalless home draw against Kirkley & Pakefield.

But they bounced back on Saturday with a 4-0 win at Newmarket Town. That win takes them to within two points of leaders Dereham Town.

FA Cup Replay report:

Page 75.