VIDEO: Wisbech Town boss Appleby: ‘We needed to hit the ground running, and we did’
WISBECH Town boss Steve Appleby urged his players to hit the ground running on Saturday - and they did just that by cruising to a 3-0 victory over Wivenhoe Town.
Appleby’s title-chasing Fenmen kicked-off their campaign with a convincing win as Neal Spafford, substitute Ollie Gale and returning midfielder Callum Reed got their names on the scoresheet.
And as expectation continues to grow that this season could bring a serious Ridgeons Premier Division title challenge, Appleby admitted a good start was just what his impressive outfit needed.
The Fenmen boss said: “We geed the lads up but they were raring to go too to be honest.
“We’ve been saying that we’ve got to hit the ground running and be up for it from the off and the lads were, so fair play to them. We tried to get it across how important it was to get off to a good start again this season and we did just that, which was pleasing.
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“We can’t ask for a lot more than what we got because it was important we
picked up a victory and a 3-0 win was decent to be fair. I think it could have been a lot more too as we created plenty of chances.
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“We did really, really well during the first half but in the second we got sloppy at times and we took too many touches. But, at the end of the day you can’t complain when you win your opening game 3-0.
“I keep telling the lads if we get the ball down and play football we’ll destroy most of the teams in this league and we did that at times in the first half.
“However, a bit of tiredness crept in and we did get a bit sloppy in the second half and without doing as well as we did in the first half we still dominated the game.
“Until the lads get a few games under their belts you won’t probably see the best of them either - so I’m happy with the performance we gave.”
Striker Chris Bacon - who joined Wisbech from King’s Lynn Town this summer - gave an impressive display even though he failed to notch his first competitive goal for the club.
He already appeared to be forging a promising partnership with Liam Nimmo, who also signed for the Fenmen during the close season, and Appleby admitted he’d been delighted with the target man’s impact since swapping the blue and gold of Lynn for the red of Wisbech.
Appleby said: “Chris has been exceptional for me since he’s been at the club and he had another cracking game against Wivenhoe.
“We took him off with around 10 minutes left because he had a slight twinge on his ankle so we thought we’d take him off as we were two-up.
“We brought on Nick Davey who has done well for us too but at the minute Chris and Liam have got the nod and looked good as a pairing. Nick will push them as hard as he can because he won’t want to sit on the bench either.
“It really bodes well for the club that we’ve got three quality lads up top to chose from.”
Bacon is expected to be fit for tomorrow night’s clash with Mildenhall Town - at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium - but centre-back Anthony Reeve may miss out after injuring his ankle in the 33rd minute.
Reeve’s replacement, talented youngster Ollie Gale, scored with his first touch and gave an assured display on the left-hand side of Wisbech’s midfield.
Appleby was delighted with his performance but also praised his squad’s strength in depth with Scott Johnson moving back to left-back, and Stacy Cartwright switching to centre-back to help cope with Reeve’s absence.
Appleby said: “It was pleasing that Ollie scored with his first touch although the change was more enforced than anything else.
“There were a number of things I could have but done when Reevo went off but I knew Ollie would just help us keep our shape. He did well in pre-season, scored goals and again he was in the right place at the right time to score.
“Our aim during the summer was to build a good squad so now if we make changes we’re not necessarily weakening the side. Our players versatility is also a massive boost.
“Anthony went over on his ankle, as did Chris - who’ll be fine for tomorrow night - but we’ll see how Reevo is over the weekend but hopefully he’ll be fit too.
“Already we know that Mildenhall’s going to be a tough game and it will be a test for us to see if we can be up there come the end of the season as well.
“It’s a nice game to look forward to - they’ll be a good side and so will we - so it should be a great game.”
Mildenhall Town also enjoyed a 3-0 home victory on the opening day against Kirkley & Pakefield.
Tomorrow night’s game kicks off at 7.45pm.
• Video highlights courtesy of Wisbech Town’s programme and website editor Spencer Larham.
• Click on the related link for a full match report and all the results from Saturday’s other Ridgeons Premier Division matches.