Bring it on for Wisbech Town
By Mark Berry BRING it on. That s the message from Wisbech Town co-manager Ian Jones on the eve of the new football season. Jones is in confident mood following his side s outstanding performance against Blue Square North side Boston United on Tuesday eve
By Mark Berry
BRING it on. That's the message from Wisbech Town co-manager Ian Jones on the eve of the new football season.
Jones is in confident mood following his side's outstanding performance against Blue Square North side Boston United on Tuesday evening.
The Fenmen matched their illustrious opponents at Fenland Park and came away with a morale-boosting 2-2 draw.
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The performance and result was in sharp contrast to Saturday's 5-1 home defeat against Dunstable Town.
Jones admitted that he was at a loss to explain the two very different displays. He said: "I don't know what happened on Saturday. Of course, they are from a higher league but I didn't think that we would be out-battled at home.
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"The score didn't flatter them at all and I was very disappointed after the game."
Scott Cubberley opened the scoring against Dunstable but the BGB Midland League side hit back and left Wisbech in their wake.
However, it all changed on Tuesday. The Fenmen trailed to a Keiron Leabon goal but came back to lead 2-1 thanks to an own goal and a spot kick from James McManus.
Paul Alexander gave Boston a share of the spoils with a goal on 79 minutes but it did little to change Jones' good mood.
He said: "There were one or two outstanding performances in the back four and it was as good a performance as you could wish to see from a team at our level.
"After the match I made enquiries about Boston and I was told that they had started with their first choice team.
"They were up for the game and they prepared properly but we took it to them in a very competitive match.
"I didn't change much between the two games but I told Stuart Cobb and Scott Cubberley to defend from the front and try and relieve some of the pressure we faced against Dunstable.
"They did really well against Boston and we defended much better as a unit."
"James McManus also made a massive difference to us. He can pick out our attackers and he added quality to our play.
Jones added: "There was a very good crowd at the match and their positive reaction to the team said it all."
On Saturday Wisbech begin their Ridgeons Premier campaign when they travel to Haverhill Rovers.
Their second league game and first home fixture is the big local derby against King's Lynn Reserves on Tuesday evening.
And Jones recognises that his challenge is to take the winning form into the league season.
He said: "If we can play like we did against Boston then we will be fine and the fans will come to see us. If we play like we did on Saturday then our fans will quite rightly keep their money in their pockets."
Stuart Ablett and Stuart Brown will both miss the season's opener through holidays. Ablett picked up a slight injury against Boston and was replaced by Grant Rider and so it is likely that Jones will stick with a similar side for Saturday's match.
He said: "I will probably keep with the side that played against Boston. The biggest decision I have to make is which keeper to play because Adam Wright and Chris Horton have strengths in different areas.
"The team have set the standard with the Boston game. A lot of our players have limited experience at this level but they now know what kind of performance I will expect every week.
"They have the ability but they have to make sure that they keep their concentration for the full 90 minutes."
Wisbech v Boston United team: 1 Chris Horton (Adam Wright), 2 Jamie Muffett, 3 Jason Pease, 4 Paul Cousins, 5 Lee Day (capt), 6 Wayne Morton, 7 Stuart Ablett (Grant Rider), 8 Lewis Cook (Aaron Duke), 9 Stuart Cobb, 10 James McManus, 11 Scott Cubberley. Subs (not used): Anthony Hunt, Lewis Thompson, Jimmy Woods.