Another point on the board for Wisbech Town
WISBECH TOWN 0, LOUGHBOROUGH DYNAMO 0
BetVictor Northern Premier League south east division
A battling team display and a superb individual performance from young keeper Josh Allen earned Wisbech a share of the points on Saturday afternoon.
The Fenmen fought hard for the whole 90 minutes and enjoyed good periods of play without creating solid chances, and were also indebted to the Peterborough United work experience loan player for three wonderful saves.
It's early days under new boss Brett Whaley but a win, a draw and a defeat from his first three matches in charge is not a bad return in the fight against relegation, especially with a home game against bottom side Market Drayton coming up next Saturday.
Against a side with big men up top, great long throws and pressing set pieces, the defence held firm, there were willing runners in midfield and Dylan Edge and Jordan Macleod showed glimpses of clicking up front in their first match together.
The home side started brightly against mid-table Dynamo, who were unbeaten in five, and saw three shots blocked and a scuffed Edge effort go straight into the keeper's gloves as they pushed for an early opener. Sam Murphy was working hard in midfield and Matt Sparrow energetic down the wing, but it was only half chances being created.
At the other end, Allen made sure it was goalless at the break with his first great save after 28 minutes when he somehow got a hand on Rob Norris' 30-yard pile driver to turn it on to the bar. Karl Demidh tapped in the rebound but had strayed offside.
The Moes were back on the attack at the start of the second half and it took another wonderful save from Allen, again from Norris, after 48 minutes after he shot from close range after a long throw. Norcross and Manuchin Oki-William both then saw efforts go over the bar before the latter was denied brilliantly by Allen after a low drive on the hour.
But Wisbech were still in the match and saw a couple more half chances fall to Macleod, Sparrow put an effort just wide and Ollie Gale narrowly failed to pick out an unmarked Tiago Nassunculo as they enjoyed an attacking spell midway through the half.
Dynamo's Luke Foster saw red in the 84th minute for a a swipe at Matt Sparrow and this spurred the home side on more but that golden chance didn't come and in the end a point was a fair return.
After the match, Wisbech manager Brett Whaley said: "It wasn't a great game of football. We started well, on the front foot, but in the second half we never really got going. We knew you can't go from losing games to dominating them so we had to fight and scrap.
"We created several half chances and if you take one of them, that's how you go from draws to wins. But we've improved at the back and not conceded from open play in three games. It was only our second clean sheet of the season so there are positives, but still a lot to work on.
"Our defenders kept putting their bodies on the line and every time they didn't, Josh made some excellent saves and he is improving every week. We have a good squad of players now and they are starting to gel. Dylan got 70 minutes today and Dean Grogan had a chance to see what this level of football is about from the bench."
On next week's bottom two clash with Market Drayton at the Elgood's Fenland Stadium, Whaley said: "It is the fixture everyone has been looking at and talking about ever since we came in but every game is an opportunity to win. However, if you're not right in this league every game is one you can lose. Our season will not be decided by next Saturday's results but obviously it is an important game.
"There are ten games left and they are all huge. From my perspective we are two unbeaten and if we stretch that we don't have to worry about teams around us. We were better against Lincoln than Carlton and better today than against Lincoln so we are improving every week but there is still a long way for us to go."
Allen, Hart, Cartwright, Marshall (Whyatt 63 mins, (Rudman 89), Spencer, Kennelly, Sparrow, Murphy, McLeod, Edge (Nassunculo 69), Gale. Sub (not used): Grogan.
Young, Steadman, Sibson (Loughborough, fouls).
Foster (Loughborough, violent conduct).
Josh Allen – three key saves and started to command his box more as his confidence grew.