NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Sense of déjà vu for Wisbech St Mary boss Arran Duke

Tom Chilton, pictured here in action against Haverhill Borough, netted one of Wisbech St Mary's two

Tom Chilton, pictured here in action against Haverhill Borough, netted one of Wisbech St Mary's two goals in their 3-2 defeat to Deeping Rangers last night. PHOTO: Ian Carter - Credit: Archant

There was a sense of déjà vu for Wisbech St Mary manager Arran Duke this week.

His Saints side bowed out of a cup competition at the semi-final stage after losing 3-2 for the second time this season last night.

Their narrow Hinchingbrooke Cup defeat to higher-level Deeping Rangers came just over a month on from their Invitation Cup exit at the hands of Ely City, and Duke admitted that both games followed a similar trend.

“Last night was very similar to the Ely game,” he said. “The lads put in another massive performance and every one of them left everything on the pitch.

“It was a mammoth task and we knew that but we competed for the full 90 minutes and we played some good stuff.

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“I asked the lads to go out and try to open some eyes and raise some eyebrows with their performance and I felt they delivered.”

The UCL Premier Division high-fliers raced into a two-goal lead at the Haydon Whitham Stadium but were pegged back by a Tom Chilton strike before half-time.

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Scott Coupland slotted a penalty in the second half to reinstate the hosts’ advantage, before Danny Emmington reduced the deficit almost immediately with a well-taken finish.

“It’s beginning to look very exciting for the future here,” said Duke.

“Credit must go to Deeping – they are in their position in the league for a reason. They have some real quality and we wish them all the best for the final.”

The Saints return to Thurlow Nunn First Division action on Saturday afternoon with a trip to Diss Town (3pm).

Duke’s men will hope to bounce back from their most recent league game – a 3-1 defeat to Essex outfit Holland FC. Jack Friend netted St Mary’s only goal in that game.

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