Fenmen facing different tests

Wisbech Town face opponents from either end of the table as both local Ridgeons League sides have two games over the bank holiday.

Matt Lunn and Stacy Cartwright, who returns from suspension, are back on Saturday when the Fenmen are at home to Ridgeons Premier basement side Great Yarmouth. Ollie Gale returns on Monday when title chasing Ely City are the visitors.

Wisbech manager Steve Appleby said: “You never want to disrespect the teams you’re against. Great Yarmouth are bottom and are relegated I believe, and you would like to take three points. But they gave us a bit of a scare at their place before we beat them 1-0.

“There are no easy games in this league, so we have got to turn up wanting to win it. I won’t be taking either game lightly.

“We’ve got a full squad but it is what we do with it, mixing and matching over the two games.”

Both of Wisbech’s Easter opponents conceded six goals at the weekend, second place Ely surprisingly losing 6-0 at mid-table Woodbridge.

During February and March non-league managers expect a fair share of heavy, boggy pitches but the nationwide drought has meant a diet of rock-hard pitches – and Appleby admits his side is struggling to cope.

He said: “Physically it is easier to go over on an ankle or jar your knees and back, but it’s not just our lads, everyone has to cope with it and do the best we can.”

The side’s playing style and the pitches do not mix, and Appleby added: “It is something that frustrates us and at the minute we are having problems with a plan B. We train on Tuesday night and we will have a look at that and go on to something a bit different.”

March Town in the Ridgeons Division One host Cambridge University Press on Saturday then travel to struggling near-neighbours Downham Town on Monday.

Hares defender Craig Norman is a doubt after he picked up a rib injury and left the field just before half-time on Saturday.

March boss Brett Whaley said: “He went for a challenge in the box and ran into a high foot. He had real problems with his breathing. He cracked a rib earlier in the season, but it is not the same rib as the injury is higher up.

“There is just bruising and swelling and that could be the cause of the breathing problems. We will just have to wait and see.”

Luke Pepper is suspended for both bank holiday games after totting up five yellow cards, while Dan Jenkins returns.

On the clash at Downham, who have lost their last nine games, Whaley added: “They are quite a local side, while we have set out our stall to finish fourth. Now we have had two wins on the bounce our target is to get maximum points out of the two Easter games.”

“To get a top four spot would be a fantastic achievement.”