Grandstand finish from Wisbech merely papers over the cracks
Wisbech Town 3, Daventry Town 4
Pitching In Northern Premier League Midland Division
It took just 23 minutes this afternoon to remind new Wisbech manager Allan Ross what a tough job he has taken on at Fountain Fresh Park, as his side quickly fell 3-0 down.
The visitors made it four early in the second half, and a 67th minute Fenmen reply and two more goals in a rousing finale merely made the scoreline more respectable.
The fact is, Wisbech were playing a side just three places ahead of them in the table, who they had actually beaten 2-0 in September. But their display in the first 60 minutes was totally lacking in confidence and self belief as four balls into the home box resulted in four goals.
The second-from-bottom Fenmen are now 13 points from safety with just nine games remaining, although just two points from the relegation play-off place currently occupied by Histon, with Soham bottom.
Wisbech started with young Boston United loanee Jake Frestle in goal following regular keeper Luke Pearson's midweek illness. New signing from Bourne Town, former Holbeach and Pinchbeck midfielder Corey Newman, was on the bench.
With regular right back Aaron Hart suspended, the Fenmen played an attacking 3-5-2 formation. But even with the wind behind them, Wisbech started shakily and conceded when a long throw into the box after five minutes was not dealt with and was fired home by Nat Gosnal-Tyler.
Seven minutes later it was 0-2 when a George Ball corner was headed home by Jack Bowen, without a meaningful challenge. A Gosnal-Tyler cross from the right after 23 minutes was volleyed home by Daventry captain Adam Confue to make it three.
The game seemed lost already, but the home team did then string some moves together for the rest of the half, Toby Allen seeing a fierce drive go wide, and Danny Draper having one effort saved and another hit the bar.
After absolutely roasting the team in the 32nd minute while striker Sam Bennett received treatment, one can only imagine what Ross said to his players at half-time.
Whatever it was didn't work – Daventry went close twice in the opening seconds and scored their fourth in the 49th minute after the home defence once again failed to deal with a ball into the box and Ball pounced.
Losing 4-0, and with the game all but gone, Wisbech finally showed the attacking intent the new manager had promised. After a hip injury meant Bennett was unfit for the second half, veteran striker Avi Vieira came on and put in a good shift.
He should have done better after 68 minutes, however, directing his header from Allen's left wing cross straight at keeper James Martin. Two minutes later though and Wisbech did score, Stamford loanee Rodrigo Goncalves picking up the ball 25 yards out and sending a scorching 25-yard effort past Martin.
There was little else from the home side and the match seemed to be drawing to a dull conclusion when Draper's shot was deflected for an 89th minute corner. Layton Maddison swung it in and Draper's superb glancing header made it 2-4 and gave the midfielder a deserved goal as one of the only players who came out of this game with any credit.
The other player who can be happy with his performance was Vieira and, two minutes later, he poked home a stoppage time Draper header to make it 3-4. But there was only a minute left and when an injury time corner came to nothing, the most unlikely of comebacks was not to be.
Wisbech Town(3-5-2, r-l): Frestle; Keeble, Wilson, Mcleish; Lukyamuzi (Newman 50 mins), Draper, Murphy, Maddison, Goncalves; Bennett (Vieira 46), Allen (Opayinka 73). Subs (not used): Warren, Gascoigne.
Daventry Town: Martin, Coleman, McNeil, Woodward, Burgess (Harris 59 mins), Confue, Ball (Orosz 66), Finch, Bowen (Wilson 61), Lorraine, Gosnal-Tyler. Sub (not used): Andrews.
Booking: Wilson (Wisbech) – foul.
Star man: Danny Draper - the only player who didn't seem shackled by nerves in the first half – and he kept going for the whole match,getting a deserved goal and an assist.