Wisbech Town suffer injury blows to key men in first match for nearly five months
- Credit: Archant
Wisbech Town returned to action today for the first time in nearly five months, but it didn’t go quite the way they expected.
Manager Brett Whaley was forced to replace striker Avelino Vieira, plus defenders Dean Grogan and Jack Keeble earlier than expected in the Fenmen’s 1-0 pre-season win over Pinchbeck United at the Elgoods Fenland Stadium.
Vieira is thought to be carrying a thigh problem, Grogan suffered a twisted ankle while defensive partner Keeble was replaced as a precaution following a problem he had in training.
The hosts fielded some of their new signings against the step five club, with one of those, Andre Williams, netting the winner with a looping cross-shot in first-half stoppage time.
“There were a few niggles before the game, so to get three more injuries early in pre-season is hard,” Whaley said.
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“It’s a shame because you want to start preparing for the season, but when you’ve got your strongest midfielder playing centre-half and you’re chopping and changing, you don’t get a lot of fluidity into the way you’re playing.
“It was a good workout, but in terms of where we are and need to be, it wasn’t a great performance.”
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It was a game that Wisbech mostly controlled, with chances going astray from the likes of Dylan Edge, Layton Maddison and the returning Danny Draper.
Off the pitch, defender Stacy Cartwright has left the club while it’s believed midfielder Danny Setchell has also departed, with Tuesday’s friendly at home to Peterborough Sports (7.45pm) not confirmed whether it will still go ahead.
“I thought when we got chances, we took an extra touch. That was our problem. The ‘keeper has made a couple of saves, we hit the bar and post, but you have to be clinical,” Whaley said.
“With the injuries we’ve got, we are two to three players away from where we want to be.
“We know as pre-season progresses, players will become available so we don’t want to rush. We’d rather work with what we’ve got and as players become available.
“Some players looked under no pressure while others did and it was a friendly, so we’ve got to get rid of that nervousness.
“I never thought we got out of third gear and that’s a worry. It was a worthwhile exercise, but it highlighted we’ve got a long way to go.”
Next Saturday, Wisbech welcome Yaxley for a pre-season fixture (3pm).
Wisbech Town: Luke Pearson; Jay Whyatt, Liam Marshall (C), Sam Murphy, Jack Keeble, Dean Grogan, Andre Williams, Layton Maddison, Liam Adams, Dylan Edge, Avelino Vieira.
Substitutes used: Ryan Pearson, Danny Draper, Jordan Fowler and Jake Gadsden.