NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Wisbech Town in penalty controversy as they suffer defeat in 10-goal thriller
PUBLISHED: 13:07 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:07 21 January 2020
Boss Kev Ward was left to reflect on a game-changing controversy after Wisbech Town were beaten in a 10-goal thriller.
The Fenmen remain bottom of the Northern Premier League South East Division after a 6-4 reverse at play-off chasing Carlton Town on Saturday (January 11).
They had looked on course for a surprise victory to boost their survival hopes after gaining a two-goal cushion thanks to a Danny Draper free-kick and a Charley
But the game turned on the stroke of half-time as Wisbech man Liam Marshall conceded a penalty seconds after captain Sam Spencer was left prone on the deck with a head injury which forced his withdrawal.
Carlton halved their deficit from the spot and then levelled moments later before completing the turnaround with a third goal early Football in the second half.
A second penalty - conceded by Jonny Kaye in what is likely to have been his final Wisbech appearance with a return to Soham Town Rangers set to be completed this week - stretched Carlton's advantage to 4-2.
But there was still time for a flurry of goals in the final quarter-of-an-hour of an action-packed contest. Tiago Nassunculo fired the Fenmen back into contention only for Carlton to follow up with a fifth.
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The hosts then sealed victory in the final minute before Draper provide a consolation for Wisbech in stoppage time.
"We were excellent for 43 minutes," said Ward. "We worked hard in training on certain aspects of the game and that was really evident.
"We got ourselves 2-0 ahead and everything was going the right way but football can be a cruel game as we have found out lately.
"Our captain had his head split wide open and I though the referee should have dealt with that injury, but the game went on and we ended up conceding a penalty that we didn't need to give away as their player was going away from goal.
"To then concede another goal while we were still getting organised after losing Sam was a real blow.
"Unfortunately Carlton then had the better of it in the second half when having the wind behind them, but scoring four goals on the road is a real positive even though we conceded six.
"We roll our sleeves up for the 16 games we still have to go. If we play like we did at Carlton we won't have a problem."
The Fenmen were beaten 3-1 by Stocksbridge Park Steels at the weekend. Jack Keeble, who has returned to the club from South East Division rivals Stamford AFC, played while new signing Bradley Fortnam-Tomlinson started on the bench after arriving from Loughborough Dynamo.