Wisbech face replay after no goal draw against Ely
WISBECH Town will be hoping to put in a better performance in Tuesday evening s FA Vase first round replay, following a stuttering display at Ely City on Saturday. Ninety minutes and extra time could not produce a goal at the Unwin Ground and the Fenmen w
WISBECH Town will be hoping to put in a better performance in Tuesday evening's FA Vase first round replay, following a stuttering display at Ely City on Saturday.
Ninety minutes and extra time could not produce a goal at the Unwin Ground and the Fenmen will feel a little lucky to have forced a replay.
City created the best chances and had they shown more composure in front of goal, the Ridgeons First Division side could have easily dumped Wisbech out of the competition.
However, despite the Fenmen going down to 10 men following the dismissal of Martin McNeil, Ely were unable to force the ball in to the net.
It was the home side who began the better and they almost opened the scoring on three minutes when a cross from Robbie Mason on the left wing found its way to Jamie Reeves, who saw his goal-bound shot cleared away by the impressive McNeil.
City looked the more likely to score but they were almost caught on the break on 10 minutes when Liam Harrold forced his way in to the box and took aim for the bottom corner but City keeper, Tim Catley, dived to his left to save.
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Again, Ely went close to taking the lead eight minutes later: A long free kick dropped at the feet of striker Nick Impey who turned smartly in the box before putting his shot just wide.
Gradually Wisbech got back in to the game, and smart interplay between Liam Nimmo and Evaldo on the edge of the box released Darren Jimson but he was ruled offside before putting the ball in the net.
Nimmo's shot from the edge of the box warmed the hands of Catley on the half-hour and as the opening period came to an end, Harrold almost latched on to a long clearance but the City keeper rushed out to claim the ball.
The Fenmen's inability to play the final pass and unlock the stubborn City defence came back to haunt them in the second half.
Nimmo could not get on to an over-hit pass and Andy Lodge's free kick, in a threatening position, cleared everyone to go out for a goal kick.
However, Wisbech did have their chances and Harrold dragged a shot wide before Jimson forced Catley in to a good save.
The home side hit back just before the hour mark, when a dangerous corner was met by skipper Simon Warren and his header cleared the bar.
Arguably the best Wisbech chance fell to Harrold on 64 minutes when he ran on to a long ball with only the keeper to beat but he lofted the ball high over the bar.
The scare seemed to galvanise the home side and in particular, left winger Mark Johnston, who began to run riot in the Wisbech defence.
Johnston's pace and delivery created panic in the visitors' area and produced several good chances. However, misdirected shots and good keeping from Conroy denied City an opening goal.
As the game moved in to injury time, Impey looked set to win the game for City when he found himself in on goal but delaying his shot proved costly and Conroy managed to dive at the striker's feet to claim the ball.
There was still time for drama, however. With four minutes of injury time played, a slip from McNeil allowed Impey behind the Fenmen's defence and as he desperately scrambled back, the Wisbech defender brought Impey down on the edge of the box.
Referee Sean Feerick issued a straight red to McNeil and in the final action of normal time, City were unable to capitalise on the dangerous free kick.
Wisbech manager Dick Creasey urged his team to take responsibility and start competing but chances were limited in extra time.
Impey came closest for the home side when he latched on to a misplaced clearance and his shot just passed the Wisbech post.
The Fenmen almost grabbed the win in the final minute when Harrold met a cross from the wing but he steered his effort over the bar.
The replay will be played at Fenland Park on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).