Duo return for key cup clash

March Town at home to Wisbech Town in the FA Cup - action from the match. March played in their orange and black strip, Wisbech in red.
March Town at home to Wisbech Town in the FA Cup - action from the match. March played in their orange and black strip, Wisbech in red.

WISBECH Town’s strike force Chris Bacon and Dubi Ogbonna are expected to return to action for the all-important FA Cup first qualifying round tie against Kettering at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium on Saturday.

They both missed last weekend’s trip to Brantham and Bacon was initially ruled out for three weeks after it was found he had torn his shoulder ligament in the 3-0 win against Yaxley in the previous round of the FA Cup.

Ogbonna also missed that game with an ankle injury, but boss Steve Appleby was much more upbeat about their prospects of playing this week.

He said: “We could possibly have had Dubi back for the Brantham game, but it would have been a risk and you would not want to lose him for four to six weeks as a result especially with a whole season in front of us.

“They will both have further treatment this week and providing there are no further setbacks should be fine for Saturday. Providing one of them is fit I will not be bringing anyone else into the squad.

“Paul Cousins, who came off at Brantham with a twisted knee, and Stacy Cartwright who was ill, should both be available also.”

If either one of the strikers does not make the starting line-up then Matt Lunn, who did so well against Yaxley, could get a striker’s role again.

He scored one and had a hand in another goal in that game and Appleby believes his player is back to his best again and that Ollie Gale may have had a hand in that.

Appleby said: “I think the form of Ollie in preseason has worked as a wake-up call for Lunnie, because he was struggling to make the squad. He was not at his best last season when his work pattern made him unavailable for several games.

“He has now changed his job and has been looking a lot sharper and I would say he is back to how he was first playing when he first came to Wisbech and that can only be good for the club.”

Appleby spent a season with Kettering in the 1991-92 season, so Saturday’s game against his old club is something special for him.

He added: “It was not a great season playing wise, but it was part of a learning curve and I have total respect for the club.

“They have not had the best of starts to this season but the FA Cup could lift them and I am sure John Beck will be using that. They play at a higher level and we will be massive underdogs, but that means the pressure is off us and it will be a very good game to win.”

Wisbech have already collected £2,750 for their first two cup wins and there is another £3,000 up for grabs this Saturday.

Kettering have dropped two levels to the Evo Stik Southern Premier Division after financial problems and started the season also with a 10 point deduction. They have had four draws and a defeat before their league game tonight against Stourbridge.