Dream tie is now a reality for rivals

March Town at home to Kirtley in the FA Cup.
March Town at home to Kirtley in the FA Cup.

IT WAS the FA Cup tie that all local football fans dreamed would take place and March Town will face Wisbech Town at the GER on September 3 in the preliminary round of the world-famous competition.

Wisbech had few problems booking their place in the next round with a 4-0 win at home to Ridgeons Division One side Halstead Town at the Fenland Stadium.

March on the other hand were up against Premier Division side Kirkley & Pakefield at the GER and trailing 1-0 at half-time, but a tremendous performance in the last 45 minutes took Brett Whaley’s side to a 2-1 victory.

The Hares certainly have the bragging rights at the moment after their 3-2 win against the Fenmen at the GER in a pre-season friendly.

And they also won the last competitive game between the two sides, also at the GER, winning 3-1 in the Ridgeons League Cup in 2009.

The two teams last met in the FA Cup in a 1981 third qualifying round encounter at Fenland Park which resulted in a 2-1 victory to the Fenmen before a gate of 458.

Whaley is delighted the game will take place against Wisbech and admitted that part of his pre-game team talk centred on the attraction of a tie against Wisbech in the FA Cup.

He admitted: “It is brilliant that the two teams meet in the next round. Clubs like ours are looking to perhaps just win a couple of games in the competition so it was a real incentive to beat Kirkley and then face Wisbech and I used it as part of the motivation.

“The game should attract a really big crowd and there is sure to be a great atmosphere at the GER on the day. We are all looking forward to playing Wisbech again.

“In the summer we per-haps did not get the credit we deserved for our win and people were saying that Lea Jordan made the difference. Well Lea is banned for the cup game so we will have the chance to prove we can do it without him. He’s very disapp-ointed to be missing this game.”

Wisbech boss Steve Appleby was also well pleased to hear March had won as were so many of the Wisbech fans at the end of their game.

He commented: “This sets up a real good local derby game in the FA Cup. Hopefully all the March and Wisbech fans can make it a great occasion by turning up on the day. We did lose to them last month so we know that it will be a tough game.

“But we do have a lot of football to play before then in the league.”

March Town chairman Phil White said: “It will be a massive game for the club. But we are not looking at it as just a good pay day against Wisbech we want to progress into the next round with another home game against Wroxham.

“Hopefully the game will wake up the town to the fact we have a very good team here and will help bring a big crowd. But we do have two very important games against Ipswich Wanderers and Godmanchester before then.

“We will be having a meeting this week to see what we have to do to cope with the bigger crowd and will be looking for more helpers on the day.”