NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Wisbech St Mary boss Arran Duke praises history-making Saints after FA Vase win

Jack Friend struck his 10th goal of the season in Wisbech St Mary's 3-1 FA Vase win over Wellingboro

Jack Friend struck his 10th goal of the season in Wisbech St Mary's 3-1 FA Vase win over Wellingborough Whitworths. PHOTO: Ian Carter - Credit: Archant

Arran Duke has heaped praise on his history-making Wisbech St Mary players after they upset the odds to progress in the FA Vase at the weekend.

Duke’s men booked their place in the first round proper for the first time in the club’s history by beating UCL Premier Division side Wellingborough Whitworths 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. They will take on fellow Thurlow Nunn Division side, Whitton United on October 21 for a place in the second round and a prize of £825.

“It was a really positive performance from us,” Duke said.

“We knew we would have to work hard as a team to get something from the game and after our recent run and we did just that.”

The Saints fell behind in the first half but top-scorer Jack Friend levelled midway through the half.

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Lewis Gibson then gave Duke’s side the lead with a fantastic free-kick, before adding his second with another spectacular set piece.

“Everyone was working hard for each other and the result has lifted the lads and that’s what we needed,” Duke added.

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“It’s the first time in our history that we have reached this stage and it’s another step forwards.”

The villagers will hope to get their first league success in over a month this weekend when they travel to Framlingham Town (3pm).

The Suffolk outfit are yet to lose this term but Duke is hoping St Mary can use the momentum gained in their Vase victory and secure maximum points.

“We go into the game with some belief back in the group,” he said. “It’s another tough game but one that can’t come soon enough.”

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