NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Fenmen left frustrated after failing to see off 10 men
PUBLISHED: 14:56 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:56 23 January 2019
Gary Setchell watched his Wisbech Town side collect another point in their pursuit of Northern Premier League Division One East safety last Saturday . . . then admitted they let two more slip away.
The Fenmen stretched their unbeaten 2019 run to four games when battling out a 2-2 draw at lowly AFC Mansfield. Setchell’s men also now boast an excellent record of six successive away matches without defeat.
But the Wisbech boss insisted their latest trip should have ended in victory given they played against 10 men for 80 minutes following the early dismissal of AFC Mansfield defender Pat Lindley due to an off-the-ball incident.
Wisbech quickly took advantage as Michael Frew spectacularly volleyed them ahead but their lead proved to be short-lived – lasting for just four minutes to be exact.
They hit the front again midway through the second half following an inspired double-substitution from Setchell.
Ryan Harnwell (back with the club following a couple of months away) burst forward and laid on a chance that fellow replacement Alex Beck gratefully accepted.
But Wisbech were undone again with eight minutes to go as they had to settle for a draw which keeps them three points above the drop-zone.
“The most important thing beforehand was ensuring that we didn’t get beaten,” said Setchell.
“But when we reflect on the game afterwards it feels like we have dropped two points rather than gained one.
“An early sending-off can often make things more difficult as the team down to 10 men dig in.
“We got ourselves ahead quickly, but then we stopped playing for some reason and gave a goal away when we failed to defend our box properly from a free-kick.
“We started brightly in the second half to get into the ascendancy and go back ahead, but then we switched off again and got punished.
“We were disappointed with the draw but it is another valuable point on the road in the grand scheme of things.
“The first goal from Michael was definitely the highlight of the day, but it was great to see two subs combine for the second after only being on the pitch for a couple of minutes.”
Wisbech continue their run of five successive away fixtures in Division One East tomorrow. Pontefract Colleries is the next destination for the Fenmen, 3pm.
It’s the first of three consecutive fixtures against sides currently in the play-off positions.
Wisbech then go to Tadcaster Albion (currently fifth) on February 2 before visiting fourth-placed Sheffield FC on February 9.