NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: It wasn't meant to be as Wisbech Town miss out on United Counties League Premier Division title

PUBLISHED: 10:02 10 May 2018

Wisbech boss Gary Setchell addresses his players following their draw against Daventry Town. Picture: IAN CARTER

Wisbech boss Gary Setchell addresses his players following their draw against Daventry Town. Picture: IAN CARTER

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Manager Gary Setchell admitted his Wisbech Town players were left 'devastated' after missing out on United Counties League Premier Division title glory on the final day of the season.

Wisbech players are applauded off the pitch. Picture: IAN CARTERWisbech players are applauded off the pitch. Picture: IAN CARTER

They were held to a 1-1 draw by Daventry Town in a must-win Elgoods Fenland Stadium showdown which attracted a terrific crowd of 507 last Saturday.

Already-promoted Wisbech fell behind midway through the first half before Adam Millson levelled with 12 minutes to go, but Setchell’s men couldn’t find another breakthrough as they were pipped to the crown.

The Fenmen finished level on points with Yaxley, but the table-toppers took the crown thanks to their superior goal difference.

Setchell said: “I congratulate Yaxley on winning the title. Like ourselves, they came from a mile back and full credit to them.

It was a case of so near yet so far for Wisbech Town against Daventry Town. Picture: IAN CARTERIt was a case of so near yet so far for Wisbech Town against Daventry Town. Picture: IAN CARTER

“The other teams like Newport Pagnell, Holbeach and Deeping also deserve praise for being involved in such an exciting title race.

“It just wasn’t meant to be for us. We threw the kitchen sink at Daventry, we hit the woodwork, we had goalmouth scramble and we missed some gilt-edged chances.

“Fair play to the people of Wisbech for coming out in force and I’m just sorry we couldn’t get over the line for them.

“The lads were devastated and there are no excuses. We needed to win a home game to win the title and we couldn’t do it.

“But they deserved to walk off the pitch with their heads held high after gaining promotion for this club for the first time since the 1990s. I came in last September with a two-year plan to get the club up and we’ve done it in a few months.

“We’re playing Step 4 football next season and we need to start building for that, but right now we feel disappointed we aren’t going up as champions.”

The failure to beat Daventry meant there was no fairytale conclusion to the record-breaking career of retiring Fenmen goalkeeper Paul Bastock. The 47 year-old has now retired with Setchell in need of a new number one for next term.

Wisbech are staging a fans’ forum at the Elgoods Fenland Stadium on Saturday, 3pm. Boss Setchell and chairman Paul Brenchley will take questions from supporters.

Those two men are also due to have discussions over what the future holds for the club.

Setchell added: “I need to sit down with the chairman and the board and see where we are in terms of next season when we’re going into unchartered territory in many ways.

“I expect we’ll have one of the smallest budgets at Step 4 so we will need to put together a group of hard-working and honest players. We’ll definitely be looking to hold our own.”

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