Gallery: Fenmen go down battling in Cambs Invitation Cup final
By ADAM LAZZARI Cambs Invitation Cup Final Wisbech Town 1 Mildenhall Town 3 THE Wisbech players will wake up with aching joints this morning after playing their hearts out for half a game with 10 men against an excellent Mildenhall side. The Suffolk side
By ADAM LAZZARI
Cambs Invitation Cup Final
Wisbech Town 1 Mildenhall Town 3
THE Wisbech players will wake up with aching joints this morning after playing their hearts out for half a game with 10 men against an excellent Mildenhall side.
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The Suffolk side were worthy winners of the Cambs Invitation Cup at Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium last night, but the Fenmen deserve credit for playing their part in a thrilling final that was not dead and buried until the 87th minute when 'Hall's John Sands grabbed his side's third goal with a stunning curled shot into the to right corner of Alex Street's net.
It was the Fenland club's first cup final for nine years.
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Wisbech manager Steve Appleby said: "As soon as we went down to 10 men I knew it was going to be an up hill battle. Mildenhall are a top side and they gave us a bit of a lesson in passing football but every one of my players has done the club proud.
"We gave it a real go with 10 men in the second half and caused them some real problems. I thought Rory Harper in particular was outstanding."
Man of the match Billy Smith showed immense composure to fire the Fenmen into a 12th minute lead, collecting a cross from the left wing and keeping his nerve to bury the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards.
But Mildenhall equalised just two minutes later through Aaron Turner's cool finish from a one-on-one.
'Hall then piled on the pressure.
Street made an excellent save from a drilled shot in the 18th minute, Wisbech skipper Paul Cousins made a phenomenal last ditch sliding tackle to keep Mildenhall out, seven minutes before half-time and Turner struck the post three minutes later.
The match's crucial point came two minutes before the interval when Wisbech's Lewis Thompson was sent off for a second booking.
The Fenmen spent the second half chasing the ball.
Wisbech's Tommy Treacher was immense on his own up front and caused the Mildenhall defence real problems.
But when Luke Thurlbourne was afforded too much time and space in the box he took full advantage to put Mildenhall 2-1 up with 20 minutes to go.
Harper ran half the length of the pitch and drilled a fine effort wide before Sands killed the game off with three minutes to spare.
The Mildenhall striker was sent off when he received a second yellow card for pulling his shirt off in celebration but it will not take any gloss off of their cup victory.