NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Wisbech St Mary fall on wrong side of nine-goal thriller with Framlingham Town
PUBLISHED: 16:53 15 December 2019
Wisbech St Mary narrowly missed out on a crucial second league win after a nine-goal thriller on Saturday.
Top scorer Corey Kingston's brace before strikes from Jermaine Watson and Dan Hempson could not fire Saints to victory following a 4-5 home defeat to Framlingham Town in Thurlow Nunn League First Division North.
Alex Kaufman's men are now six points adrift at the bottom, having missed out on the chance to go within three points of their weekend visitors.
The good, the bad and the ugly was on show at the ABC Stadium, where high-class entertainment in this bottom-of-the-table clash began on 35 minutes.
Both sides struggled to establish any kind of consistency of possession or create clear-cut chances, until Kingston pounced with predatory instincts.
He met recent addition Ryan Harnwell's knockdown from Jack Jefferson's pinpoint cross, who signed this week, to roll home from close range.
Despite going in front and considering how their season has gone so far, there was doubt whether Saints would remain defensively astute against fellow strugglers, and it proved.
Full-back Cion Wren, who starred throughout in defence and attack, struck home from Jack Lawrence's pass inside the penalty area on the stroke of half-time.
Cue the excitement. If the second-half was anything to go by, this game could have gone anywhere, quite literally.
It was one blow after the next for Saints. Slow out of the blocks, Jon Fryatt duly took advantage as he converted Stef Mallett's curling cross for the Castlemen 40 seconds from the restart.
If Saints are going to pull off a remarkable relegation escape, they need to prove their character, and so they did within an error-ridden three minutes.
First, Kingston latched onto a short header back to goalkeeper Peter Borg before slotting home, as the lively Jermaine Watson cut incisively through the defence to chip home.
Had Watson then finished a slick individual move soon after his goal, a point may well have been secured, but it was another lapse of concentration that caused the ultimate damage.
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Framlingham spotted alarmingly vast openings in the Saints defence to net three times and seal a third away league win and compound the misery on their hosts.
Fryatt was the instigator, curling beautifully into the top corner before slotting past a helpless Dan Smith with ten minutes remaining.
With Saints pushing high in search of a leveller, the Norfolk side broke purple hearts when Alex Ling had acres of time and space to bury a fifth goal.
Substitute Dan Hempson did give his team a lifeline late on to create more drama, but this frantic contest had ran its course.
Although their endeavours are second to none, defensive woes continue to haunt Saints who need to find that much-needed stability if they are to rise from the ashes.
WSM: Dan Smith; Andy Willmott, Karl Anderson, Lewis Day, Jordan Goult, Tom Chilton, Jermaine Watson, Flo Tsaguim (sub Dan Hempson, 67'), Ryan Harnwell (sub Cliff Williams, 82'), Jack Jefferson, Corey Kingston.
Goals: WSM - Kingston (35' and 50'), Watson (54'), Hempson (89').
Framlingham Town - Wren (45'+1), Fryatt (46', 62' and 80'), Ling (88').
Referee: Mr Robert Stanley.