NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Wisbech St Mary boss Duke proud after impressive campaign

Wisbech St Mary manager, Arran Duke. PHOTO: Ian Carter

Wisbech St Mary manager, Arran Duke. PHOTO: Ian Carter - Credit: Archant

The only way is up for Wisbech St Mary, according to boss Arran Duke.

Many expected the Saints to struggle at Step Six level after clinching promotion last season but Duke’s men proved they are there to stay with a fine maiden campaign in the Thurlow Nunn First Division.

A 13th-place finish, a cup final and another semi-final were St Mary’s rewards for an impressive season and despite watching his side fall to a 1-0 defeat to King’s Lynn Town Reserves in the final of the KO Cup last Friday, Duke says it has been a season to remember for all at Beechings Close.

“We didn’t play as well as we could have on Friday but we did give a good account of ourselves,” he said.

“Whilst being disappointed to not win the game, the lads and I are proud of what we have achieved this season.

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“We have been competitive in a league at a level many thought we could never get to.”

The Saints were edged by a wonderful Kyran Stannard strike in last Friday’s final, and Duke says the youngster’s goal was worthy of winning any final.

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“We had good chances but couldn’t make them count,” he admitted.

“Their goal was a wonder goal and a moment of quality worth winning any game. Congratulations to King’s Lynn Town Reserves on their win.

“We now plan for an even bigger season next year. We have to keep on improving on and off the field and we will have a bit more experience after the big year of learning we have had.

“There’s a lot of work to do in the off season but I’m sure we’ll see that work pay off.”

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