Brantham Athletic 2, Wisbech Town 1
THE Fenmen’s run of seven games unbeaten came to end, but they had the chances to come away with at least a point if not all three from this Thurlow Nunn Premier Division clash.
They were already without strikers Chris Bacon and Dubi Ogbonna and when Stacy Cartwright called off sick on Friday manager Steve Appleby, who had already drafted in Ash Stevens on loan from Spalding, had to register himself to be one of the substitutes.
Even with Stevens’ return Wisbech were stretched to say the least with 16-year-old Lewis Clayton also joining Appleby and Anthony Reeve on the bench.
But even so it was Wisbech who dominated the early exchanges in the first 25 minutes and had three good chances to take the lead with Adam Millson firing narrowly wide from the best of the openings.
To add to their pain Brantham broke quickly from defence after 35 minutes and Lee Grimwood rode a tough challenge from skipper Paul Cousins to score against the run of play with only their second shot of the game. Cousins suffered a knee injury as a result and was replaced by Reeve at the break.
Stevens put Wisbech back on terms six minutes into the second half but the home side were back in front on the hour when perhaps goalkeeper Lea Jordan could have done better to keep out Kieran Lawler’s effort.
Brantham had Ben Garnham sent off on 77 minutes for two yellow cards and sub Dave Grimwood followed six minutes later for a stamp on Rogan McGeorge and even then Wisbech could not take advantage.
Appleby said: “We played well for the first 25 minutes and had three or good chances but you have to score when you are on top. They scored with their second shot of the game and we then resorted to playing the long ball and got involved in a scruffy game.
“I think if we had Chris Bacon, with his presence up front, then we might have won but that is no real excuse as we had a good team out there.
“Jordi felt he could have done better for the two goals, but to be honest the players have not performed as they can. However it is only our first defeat of the season and we were also unbeaten in seven friendlies so we should not get carried away with one defeat.
“It seems things always happen at Brantham. Last season we had two players sent off and they have had two red cards this time.
“Ash Stevens has come in on loan and done well for us with a well-taken goal. He is cup-tied so cannot play against Kettering, but whether he will return after that we will have to see.”
Wisbech: Lea Jordan, Neal Spafford, Paul Cousins, Jon Fairweather, Scott Johnson, Rogan McGeorge, Steven Reid, Adam Millson, Ollie Gale, Ash Stevens, Matt Lunn. Subs used: Anthony Reeve.