NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Frustrations mounting for Wisbech Town as major decisions go against them
PUBLISHED: 11:11 23 January 2020
Boss Kev Ward has spoken of his frustration after seeing a series of major refereeing decisions go against Wisbech Town.
The relegation battlers have been on the wrong end of hotly-disputed calls in their last three games as they attempt to drag themselves off the bottom of the Northern Premier League South East Division.
The run of controversies began on January 4 when they were beaten 1-0 by Worksop Town at the Elgoods Fenland Stadium.
Wisbech had a stonewall penalty appeal ignored in the first half before seeing a last-gasp leveller wrongly ruled out.
The officials failed to stop a visiting defender turn the ball into his own net and believed Fenmen ace Tiago Nassunculo had done so from an offside position.
And the rough luck continued in a 6-4 defeat at Carlton the following Saturday when a serious head injury to Wisbech skipper Sam Spencer was ignored by the referee.
Then, as play continued, Carlton were awarded a penalty seconds later which began their fightback from 2-0 down.
And it was a case of the same old story again last Saturday when Wisbech were beaten 3-1 at Stocksbridge Park Steels in their latest outing.
Jack Keeble's return to the Fenmen fold from Stamford AFC was soured as he conceded the spot-kick that led to his side falling behind just before the half-hour.
The official pointed to the spot even though it appeared Keeble was on the receiving end of a foul rather than committing one.
Wisbech then saw their deficit double 10 minutes into the second half from a corner before an own goal from Park Steels man Reece Fielding gave them hope.
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But their comeback attempt was thwarted when Stocksbridge struck for a third time to seal the points with two minutes to go.
"Decisions going against us is the story of the last few weeks," said Ward. "It's now three games in a row where we have it happen.
"Their player kicks the back of Jack's leg and falls over. Everyone - even their dugout - expected it to be a free-kick to us yet the referee gave a penalty.
"It's tough to take when so many massive moments in games are going against us, but it also shows the progress we're making as well.
"Seven or eight weeks ago we would have folded like a pack of cards, but that's not happening any longer.
"The scoreline certainly doesn't tell the story of a game in which we were the better side for long periods. Of course we also need to work on taking more of our chances, but it would be brilliant to get a bit more rub of the green."
Ward handed Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson a debut as a second-half substitute against Park Steels.
The Fenmen remain two points adrift at the bottom of the table with 15 games to go. The first of those is a home clash against Ilkeston Town this Saturday, 3pm.
The Derbyshire club are one of the three sides Wisbech have beaten during a difficult campaign.
They triumphed 2-1 in the reverse fixture back in October although the two Wisbech goalscorers that night - Jurelle Philip and Danny Setchell - are no longer with the club.
"We've got 15 games to go, we have to try to keep building momentum and hopefully get the points to show for it," added Ward.
"Ilkeston are a massive club and even though they have had a tough run of late, they will still be very tough opposition, but we now feel we have a chance of winning any game we go into."