NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Wisbech Town fall into the relegation zone but still have hopes of FA Trophy progress

Sam Gaughran scored Wisbech Town's equaliser in their FA Trophy draw against Yaxley. Picture: IAN CA

Sam Gaughran scored Wisbech Town's equaliser in their FA Trophy draw against Yaxley. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Town have dropped into the Northern Premier League Division One East relegation zone.

The Fenmen fell to second-bottom in the standings after suffering an agonising 1-0 defeat at Stocksbridge Park Steels last Saturday.

A first-ever clash between the two sides was settled by a stoppage time goal from Steels man Ben Rhodes.

The loss, which extended Wisbech’s run without a league win to seven games, was particularly harsh.

They were almost gifted the lead in the first half when Steels defender Tom Charlesworth headed against his own bar and substitute Toby Hilliard was denied by a smart save in the second period.

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Assistant boss Daz Edey said: “Obviously it’s not ideal to be in this position, but we’re not worried at this stage.

“I don’t feel the performances we have produced so far this season warrant being second-bottom.

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“Our aim has always been to stay up and I feel sure we have enough to do that.”

Striker Ryan Harnwell made his final Wisbech appearance in this fixture before leaving the club.

Harnwell, who arrived from King’s Lynn Town in the summer, is understood to be a target for Step 5 side Ely City.

Wisbech drew 1-1 with Yaxley in an FA Trophy first qualifying round tie at the Elgoods Fenland Stadium on Tuesday night after being reinstated into the national competition.

Wisbech fell behind to an early Tom Waumsley goal but levelled on the half-hour when Sam Gaughran powered in a header from a Danny Setchell corner.

Wisbech had the best chance of a quiet second half but Toby Hilliard’s effort was kept out by a fine defensive clearance from Yaxley man Charley Sanders.

Those two teams now meet again in a replay tomorrow with the winners going on to host Ramsbottom United in the second qualifying round on Tuesday.

Edey added: “We were the better side in the first half against Yaxley despite giving away a sloppy goal.

“We played all the football and got ourselves back into the game, but the second half was a non-event in all honesty so a draw was probably the right result and we’ll do it all again tomorrow.

“We knew how they would play; they knew how we would play and to be honest we ended up cancelling each other out.

“Again we know what to expect on their 3G pitch and we’ll be prepared for it.”

Should the Fenmen not make progress in the FA Trophy, Wisbech will instead entertain Step 7 side Linton Granta on Tuesday night in the quarter-finals of the Cambs Invitation Cup.

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