Freear’s late strike keeps Wisbech top

Wisbech mens hockey team before losing in the semi-final of the HA trophy'Gary Freaar
Wisbech mens hockey team before losing in the semi-final of the HA trophy'Gary Freaar
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Crostyx 1st 5, Wisbech 1st 6

WISBECH continued at the top of the table with Gary Freear scoring the late winner in a topsy turvy game.

They had begun the game appearing lethargic and making questionable decisions. Crostyx sensed that the journey might not have worn off from the visitors’ legs and they raced into a 2-0 lead.

A third was added moments later with a fine solo effort from their centre forward, which left a helpless James Sheppard on the turf.

Wisbech were well and truly shell-shocked. Things were made worse when Daniel Martell saw himself pick up his second yellow card of the season following a tackle from behind.

Wisbech rode out this brief spell with 10 men and launched an onslaught onto the home side. Short corners were coming thick and fast and Sam Blunt’s speed up top saw two Crostyx defenders yellow carded for cynical challenges. From the resulting penalty corner Blunt’s drag flick was well saved and the ball bounced to Joe Melton, who took the ball off James Mansfield’s toes and delivered a pinpoint shot in the corner of the net.

A motivational speech was delivered by skipper Jonathan Shippey at the break and Wisbech came out in the second half a seemingly different team, fizzing the ball around and moving sublimely for one another.

Penalty corners were coming thick and fast and Mansfield trapped the ball with military precision and Ed Batt took the ball off the top of the circle and fired at the far post for Freear to slide and deflect in to make it 3-2.

Blunt then scored an equaliser with a drag flick that just about ripped a hole in the roof of the Crostyx net. Wisbech were delivering wave after wave of attacks to the home side’s goal, Martell and Brad Apted were working well and Johnstone and Blunt were delivering down the left. Ben Allsop then provided a raking ball into the Crostyx circle and Apted was on hand to finish and edge Wisbech ahead for the first time at 4-3.

The Essex side equalised before Blunt lashed another drag flick into the net to put Wisbech ahead again. Just when they thought they’d got the game in the bag, poor organisation let Crostyx make it 5-5!

With a few minutes to go Batt robbed a defender and knocked the ball into the path of Apted who squared for Freear to score and put Wisbech 6-5 up.

This Saturday Wisbech take on Colchester at the Harecroft Road Astroturf (2.30pm).

Wisbech Town 2nds 3, 
Newmarket 1st 1

Wisbech continued their winning run with an excellent team performance against a strong Newmarket side.

They opened the scoring when the ball was crossed in from the right after a goalmouth melee and several Wisbech attempts, Aaron Cobb drove the ball into the goal.

The lead was shortlived as Newmarket came back strongly, winning a series of penalty corners and scoring an equaliser.

However, it was Wisbech who took a 2-1 lead into half-time with a special Hugo Atkins strike from the top of the shooting circle into the bottom corner of the goal.

Wisbech were unfortunate not to finish the half 3-1 up – Sam Dunn putting a penalty stroke wide after a goal bound shot was stopped by a Newmarket defender’s foot.

Newmarket came out after half-time ready for a battle, but Wisbech grabbed a third goal.

Dunn, atoning for his penalty stroke miss, combined with Cobb to slot home a penalty corner.

Wisbech now had the cushion needed to see out the match as Newmarket lost their composure forcing the umpire to show a yellow card and reduce them to 10 men.

On Saturday Wisbech travel to play Rutland 1, who also have four wins from four matches.

Cambs City 4th 3, Wisbech 3rd 2

It was all City for the first half as they broke quickly and gained several penalty corners.

While these were kept out by a resolute Wisbech defence some good passing twice got the ball past the outstanding Simon Freear in the Wisbech goal.

One goal for Wisbech came from a good solo effort from Tim Atkins who took a quick self pass from a free hit and slotted the ball past the City keeper. This left the score at 2-1 at half time.

The second half was more of the same as Freear made some spectacular saves to limit City to only one more goal. When Atkins scored his second of the match after a good solo run, City started to worry as Wisbech pressed for the equaliser and it was only the final whistle that saved City from the inevitable.

Wisbech are at home to Ely on Saturday 11.30 am start.