Double dismissal denies Fenmen third place finish

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Brantham 2, Wisbech Town 2

THE Fenmen missed out on securing a third place finish in the Ridgeons Premier Division with this draw as they finished the game with just nine men in the pouring rain on Saturday.

Defender Anthony Reeve was sent off early in the game for a foul as last man and Chris Bacon received a second yellow card in the second half.

The home side had started the game the brighter and had two early chances before top scorer Olly Mann went tumbling in a collision with Reeve on the edge of the box. The referee was quick to show a red card to the Wisbech player although the ball had already gone through to the keeper.

The decision seemed to spur Wisbech on and they took the lead after 32 minutes when Scott Johnson’s free kick was headed home at the far post by Ollie Gale.

But six minutes later the home side equalised when Kieran Lawler slotted home past the advancing Roberts.

After the break Brantham made their one-man advantage tell when they took the lead as Roberts came to close down Mann, who slipped the ball for Lawler to score his second goal.

Wisbech, with the injured Paul Cousins on the bench, never gave up though Bacon hit a post and Denny Escorcio was just wide with a shot before they were dealt another blow when Bacon was given a second yellow card after an altercation with Lawler.

Gale came close to an equaliser, but Wisbech were rewarded for their hard work in the last few minutes when Adam Millson’s shot from close range took a deflection past the keeper.

Appleby said: “The lads have put in a very good performance but it was not just enough to clinch third place. Sometimes it looked as though we were playing 14 out there. Usually the chairman is very quiet but he was fuming about the referee after the game.

“I felt it was a harsh decision to send Reeve off. The players looked to have collided going for the ball. Their player never had control of the ball and it ran through to our keeper anyway. The referee could not get his red card out fast enough.

“Bacon’s first yellow card came when he asked the referee to be fair to both teams, but he did grab their player for the second card and I cannot have any argument with that. In the end we have done well to get the draw with just nine on the pitch.”

Wisbech: Tom Roberts, Anthony Reeve, Jon Fairweather, Stacy Cartwright, Scott Johnson, Neal Spafford, Steven Reid, Adam Millson, Ollie Gale, Chris Bacon, Denny Escorcio. Subs used: Matt Lunn, Ollie Pinner, Lewis Thompson.