Late goal denies Wisbech victory as Kennelly makes long-awaited comeback
Wisbech Town 2, Sheffield FC 2
Norther Premier League south east division
On the day Fenmen supporters held a minute's silence for club legend Bill Clarkson it was perhaps fitting that another centre back made his first appearance in Wisbech red for 14 months.
Beckham Kennelly (20) was playing for Wisbech for the first time since he injured his knee last September. He has been gaining match fitness during a loan spell at Wisbech St Mary.
Manager Seb Hayes and all at the Elgood's Stadium have high hopes for Kennelly and he made a very encouraging comeback, winning tackles and headers and intercepting passes. He has a great long throw and also good passing ability and will only improve this young team.
And he should have been joining his team-mates in celebrating a victory but for a 90th minute Sheffield equaliser that came after Wisbech had squandered enough chances to win comfortably.
Changing to a 4-5-1 formation, with the fluidity to become a 4-3-3 when attacking, the home team were soon on the front foot against the world's oldest football club and Charley Sanders saw a seventh minute effort saved when one-on-one with visiting keeper Jonathan Hedge.
And it didn't take long until Wisbech scored, recent signing Danny Draper timing a late run into the box perfectly to head home from a probing through ball. And within a minute Draper scored his second, netting from close range again by turning in a cross to the far post.
Sheffield hit the bar with a header but then came two of the chances Wisbech will rue, Sanders again denied by the experienced Hedge with only the keeper to beat after 35 minutes and then dragging an effort just wide.
A rare Sheffield attack then saw them win a corner, from which former Mansfield Town regular Adam Chapman headed home.
The visitors dominated the first 15 minutes of the second half although Wisbech did have a chance to make it three on the break, Sanders denied in a one-on-one with Hedge for a third time.
Sheffield huffed and puffed but created no decent chances and the home team's confidence returned and with it their attacking verve. After 79 minutes it was Sanders v Hedge for a fourth time and on this occasion the big striker's ankle was clipped as he shot, the keeper saving again and the referee not interested in a penalty.
All Wisbech had to do was see out a couple of minutes of injury time but they gave away a corner, defended it badly and a delighted Ashley Grayson turned in the late equaliser.
A draw was tough on Wisbech's young side who gave their all. They now drop to second-bottom and must look to pick up all three points at fellow strugglers Sutton Coldfield next Saturday.
Wisbech: Wilson, Hart, Marshall, Whyatt, Kennelly, Spencer (c), Draper, Kaye, Sanders, Setchell, Green (Nassunculo 72 mins). Subs (not used): Rogers, Maddison.
Sheffield: Hedge, Ludlam (Chappell 78 mins), Turner, Cooksey, McLean, Chapman (c), Hutchinson, Grayson (Stacy 86), Newsham, Boocock (Sorrell 60), Prior. Subs (not used): Roney, Wonham.
Referee: Thomas Harvey (Norwich).
Booked: Hart, Kennelly (Wisbech) - fouls; Sorrell (Sheffield) - foul.
Star man: Danny Draper - followed up an impressive debut against Glossop two weeks ago with another assured display and took his two goals well.
More by this authorJeremy Ransome