NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Midweek KO Cup heroics took it out of players, says Wisbech St Mary boss Arran Duke
PUBLISHED: 12:48 21 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:56 21 March 2017
Wisbech St Mary boss Arran Duke has admitted that his players suffered from a First Division KO Cup hangover last weekend.
The Saints were beaten 5-3 by Braintree Town Reserves in the Thurlow Nunn First Division on Saturday, and Duke says that last week’s semi-final victory over Coggeshall Town took its toll on his players.
“We showed on Saturday that Wednesday night’s performance took a lot out of us,” he said.
“We struggled to get going against a very well-organised Braintree side and overall it was not a good enough performance.”
Nick Davey gave St Mary the lead early on but the Essex outfit replied with two goals to take a lead into the half-time break.
Braintree notched a third minutes into the second half but Davey gave the Saints hope with his 21st of the season soon after.
But Braintree secured the points with two more strikes, meaning Jack Friend’s late goal was nothing more than a consolation.
“We conceded two sloppy goals in the first half and started the second slowly again,” said Duke.
“The third goal seemed to wake us up and we had good chances but we got caught on the break too often.”
The village side return to league action on Saturday with the visit of Haverhill Borough.
The Suffolk side sit in third in the league standings, but Duke is hopeful that his attacking pairing of Friend and Davey, who have now found the net 40 times between them this season, can fire them to a shock victory.
“Last weekend we looked very good and confident going forward,” Duke said.
“Jack has got 19 goals now and Nick has got 21 which bodes well for the future. Saturday will be another tough game but one we’re looking forward to.”
St Mary are currently 13th in the league table but can move up to 10th if results go their way this weekend.