Appleby tells Wisbech Town players to take confidence and pride from FA Vase campaign

WISBECH Town boss Steve Appleby has encouraged his players to take confidence from an exciting FA Vase campaign after Dunston UTS ended their Wembley dream at the second attempt.

Centre-back Anthony Reeve was sent off as the Fenmen were beaten 3-1 in their fourth round replay on Saturday - but Appleby has told his troops to banish any disappointment from the dressing room.

“I can’t knock the lads,” he said. “They’ve done Wisbech Town proud all the way through the Vase run. They’ve conducted themselves brilliantly and given it absolutely everything.

“We’ve got to take a lot from that. We can compete with the best in our league and we’ve shown that we can compete with the best at our level nationwide.

“There’s no time to dwell on the defeat. We’ve got to take the positives and continue pushing for promotion.”

A brace from Andrew Bulford and a Steven Goddard strike sent Dunston cruising into the last 16 on Saturday – but a majestic free-kick from Chris Bacon gave fans of the battling Fenmen something to show for their 400-mile round trip.

Appleby said: “We dominated the first 25 minutes but didn’t take our chances. Once again, in a big game, we haven’t taken our opportunities.

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“Football is a cruel game and if you don’t take those chances you will get punished. We did - big style.”

Wisbech’s hopes for silverware this season now rest mainly on the Cambs Invitation Cup, which will see them host former striker Andy Furnell’s Soham Town Rangers in the semi-final on February 21.

The Fenmen travel to Felixstowe & Walton United on Saturday as they look to reignite their promotion charge in the Ridgeons Premier Division. Newly re-signed centre-back Paul Cousins is expected to be available while Reeve (groin) is an injury doubt.

Appleby said: “We need a reaction and there’s no better place to do that than at Felixstowe, where we will have to work hard to get a result.”