Wisbech Town 2,
Kirkley & Pakefield 0
CLUB captain Scott Johnson celebrated his first start since coming back from injury with the opening goal as the depleted Fenmen won in the Ridgeons League Premier.
Striker Chris Bacon added his second goal in two games to seal the points at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium and put the hosts in seventh spot.
Simon Ashton, Callum Reed and Neal Spafford were all suspended after being sent off at Mildenhall, while Matt Lunn was also absent.
But thanks to full-back Johnson slotting in to shore up the defence after being sidelined for eight weeks, the Fenmen won pretty comfortably.
Bacon and Nick Davey had efforts saved by away keeper David Attridge and Jon Fairweather was unlucky as his deft lob came back off the crossbar before Johnson opened the scoring.
Johnson struck in the 36th minute by following up his 20-yard effort that had hit the post. Fenmen stopper Ryan Rayner pulled off a crucial acrobatic save to deny Daniel Block from equalising on the stroke of half-time.
Early in the second half Bacon was adjudged to have been pushed by a player coming into the back of him and the hosts were awarded a soft penalty which Bacon himself converted into the corner of the net.
Wisbech manager Steve Appleby praised the contribution of Johnson: “He has showed today what we’ve missed,” he said.
“He’s a solid lad, a good performer, a good talker and it is no coincidence that we’ve got a clean sheet at the same time.
“It was a good result, we played pretty decently. The penalty was for a push in the back and was a bit harsh, but it’s about time we were due to get one.
“We tried to play football and it was a pleasing performance. We’re confident, we’ve kept a run going with a couple of wins and a draw at Gorleston who are not doing badly.
“The clean sheet was one of the pleasing things. We’ve slipped up and conceded some silly goals. From that point of view, it was pleasing.
“Liam Nimmo was on the bench and I think we have got that sorted.”
Earlier in the week there had been fears that forward Nimmo would miss playing or training for the next six weeks in addition to the last few games he was unavailable for, due to his shift patterns with Royal Mail changing.
Appleby said earlier 0n the club’s website: “Scott and Steven Reid are both now fully fit, while Darren Jimson has now had keyhole surgery on his knee cartilage and has been given a 12-week recuperation period, so hopefully we will see him back in action just after Christmas.”
Appleby added: “We need competition for places. We’re not going to win it with 11 players. I hope people will show some patience and wait for their chance.”
Wisbech: Rayner, Fairweather, Reeve, Cartwright, Johnson, Jones, Thompson, Gale, Murphy, Davey, Bacon. Subs used: Nimmo, Reid.