Wisbech Town in positive spirits as dogged display earns a crucial point ahead of relegation six-pointer
PUBLISHED: 09:45 09 March 2020
They may still need to improve their game, but Brett Whaley believes the spirit within his Wisbech Town squad will pull them over the safety line after a dogged display on Saturday.
A first goalless draw of the season to 10-man Loughborough Dynamo at the Elgoods Fenland Stadium extended the Fenmen's unbeaten run to two games in the Northern Premier League South East Division, despite spurning several chances in a tight contest.
Wisbech did have to rely on young goalkeeper Josh Allen to earn a precious point, having made outstanding saves to deny their mid-table visitors a breakthrough.
"It wasn't a great game. I thought we started really bright, we got on the front foot and we did the right things," Whaley said.
"As the game went on, they had a good spell before half-time and then second half, we never got going.
"He (Allen) talked more and his starting position was better. I think he's improving every week and he made big saves for us.
"We knew you can't go from losing games to suddenly dominating football matches, so we knew we had to have an element of fighting, and we've done that."
"There are positives, but there are lots for us to work on."
Allen was on hand to tip Rob Norris' strike onto the woodwork, before denying the same player and Manuchim Oki-William after the break.
Forwards Dylan Edge and Jordan Macleod were denied by strong defensive blocks early on, while the returning Sam Murphy shined in a team led by returning captain Sam Spencer as recent recruit Dean Grogan watched from the sidelines.
Matt Sparrow also went close 10 minutes after the restart. The hosts did ride their luck against a side reduced to 10 men after Luke Foster's late challenge towards the end of Town's first home game since a new stand was installed following the damage caused by Storm Ciara.
"Those half chances in tight games you need to take; that's how you go from draws to wins," Whaley said.
"As the game progressed, they won a lot more second balls than we did and that was why they got on top.
"We put our bodies on the line and every time we didn't, Josh pulled off a save. I'm delighted with them because they did have to scrap.
"I think we've got a good squad of players now, but that squad of players haven't played together and that's going to take games.
"The boys are gelling in, and the squad are working really hard; that's all we can ask."
Wisbech prepare for a crunch clash at home to fellow strugglers Market Drayton Town next Saturday, 3pm, which could prove crucial towards the Fenmen's survival hopes.
"Our season won't be decided on next week, but it's an important game," he added.
"Every game is an opportunity to win, but if you're not right in this league, every game is one you can lose.
"We're two unbeaten, and that's a run that if it stretches a little way, you don't need to worry about what's around you.
"There is a long way still for us to go."
Wisbech: Josh Allen; Aaron Hart, Stacy Cartwright, Liam Marshall (sub Jay Whyatt, 63'; sub Nathan Rudman, 90'), Sam Spencer (C), Beckham Kennelly, Matt Sparrow, Sam Murphy, Jordan Macleod, Dylan Edge (sub Tiago Nassunculo, 70'), Ollie Gale.
Sub unused: Dean Grogan.
Cautions: Wisbech Town - Cartwright (foul).
Man of the Match: Josh Allen.
Referee: Mr Shaun Barry.