Wisbech end their friendlies with draw

WISBECH Town finished their run of seven friendlies with a 1-1 home draw with Northampton Sileby Rangers on Saturday after six successive wins.

It was the squad’s fourth game in eight days and perhaps not their best performance but they still remained unbeaten.

The Northampton side included several players from last season’s UCL champion side Long Buckby and the manager Glen Botterill.

Chris Bacon gave Wisbech the lead with a goal with six minutes left in the second half but Sileby equalised four minutes later when they took advantage of a defensive mix-up.

The real concern of the game was an ankle injury to in-form striker Dubi Ogbonna from a poor challenge in the first half which forced him off and brought on Bacon.

Manager Steve Appleby once again went for a 3-5-2 formation to start with and Paul Cousins made his return from an ankle injury after missing five games.

He said: “It was perhaps a game too far for us and we were a bit flat. We did not play particularly well and Sileby did a good job and were decent.

“It was good test for us and just a nice little reminder that we are not going to walk over every team we meet and also for the fans who have made us winning champions before we start.

“The injury to Dubi was just a knock but, with Chris missing the first game, I did not want to risk him.”

Earlier in the week the Fenmen had beaten another UCL side Peterborough Northern Star who reached the FA Vase quarter-finals.

Three goals in the first 18 minutes of the first half soon settled this game and the outstanding Ogbonna had a hand in all three goals.

It was his ball into the box that provided Ollie Gale with the opener after five minutes when the visitors failed to clear Ogbonna’s ball into the area and eight minutes later Ogbonna supplied an inch perfect cross for Callum Reed to head home the second goal.

Ogbonna was involved again for the third goal when producing a well-struck shot from 22 yards out into the roof of the net on 18 minutes and was undoubtedly the star of the first half.

Former Fenman Sam Murphy should have scored against his old club three minutes from the break, but shot too high from six yards out with the goal at his mercy.

Three minutes into the second half it was 4-0 when Reed’s shot from 18 yards out sneaked under the goalkeeper’s body.

On Thursday night Wisbech beat Holbeach 4-0 with Darren Jimson hitting two late goals from 25 yards out to put the seal on Wisbech’s sixth successive friendly win.

A dogged Holbeach side had kept Wisbech out in the first half but did have a player sent off for abuse to an official.

Matt Lunn opened the scoring after the break and then Chris Bacon scored from just outside the penalty area to make it 2-0.

Substitute Jimson then conjured up two delightful strikes in the last 10 minutes.