NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Wisbech Town crash to first defeat of 2019 after ‘16 minutes of madness’

Wisbech Town manager Gary Setchell. Picture: IAN CARTER

Wisbech Town manager Gary Setchell. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Town’s unbeaten start to 2019 fell apart during what boss Gary Setchell dubbed as ‘16 minutes of madness’ last Saturday.

The Fenmen suffered a first Northern Premier League Division One East defeat of the year when being thumped 4-0 at play-off hopefuls Pontefract Collieries.

And all of the damage was done in a devastating spell during the first half which began when Vaughan Redford hit the Colleries opener in the 21st minute.

Michael Dunn, Eli Hey and Redford against also struck to leave Wisbech blown away before the break – and they would have been in an even worse predicament had goalkeeper Dan Swan not saved a penalty when the game was still goalless.

“Our unbeaten run has come to an end in spectacular fashion really,” said Setchell. “It was 16 minutes of madness and for them to score four goals in that time is unacceptable by any stretch of the imagination.

“We were terrible from when they got their first goal up until half-time. Its was as bad as I’ve seen since I’ve been back at Wisbech.

“But let’s credit Pontefract as well. They pressed us hard, they get around the pitch, they’re aggressive with and without the ball, they let us have it early and we couldn’t deal with it.

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“They were lively and scored a lot of goals. They have only lost twice at home all season and they put us to the sword.

“It was 11 men against 11 boys, certainly in the first half.

“It’s disappointing that our unbeaten run is over, but it might just be the shot in the arm we need.

“We’re still away from the bottom three, but it’s a reminder of where we are and how hard we still have to work.

“If the players do think that because we’ve been on an unbeaten run that they can take their foot off the gas, it showed that they will be punished for it at this level.”

Wisbech remain in 14th position and three points above the drop-zone. The six teams below them in the standings also lost last Saturday.

The Fenmen’s tough run of five consecutive away fixtures continues this Saturday when they go to another promotion-chasing side, Tadcaster Albion (3pm). That is the fourth of those games on the road.

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