First half collapse proves crucial for Wisbech Town in relegation six-pointer with Market Drayton Town
- Credit: Archant
What was seen as a relegation six-pointer proved to be a one-sided affair as Wisbech Town were left stunned on Saturday.
The Fenmen were left pondering after a resurgent first half display from fellow Northern Premier League South East Division strugglers Market Drayton Town saw them run out 4-0 winners to ensure boss Brett Whaley's heaviest defeat in charge.
Whaley made one change to the starting line-up that drew with Loughborough Dynamo in their previous outing, midfielder Layton Maddison replacing Ollie Gale, and it was the team in 19th spot who went on the front foot.
Dylan Edge fired over before striker Jordan Macleod's cutback following a determined run couldn't find the run of teammate Matt Sparrow, who was poised to slot home from around 10 yards.
But it was a counter-attack that gave the visitors the lead.
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A contentious handball from an Edge cross was waved away by referee Lee Jessup, allowing James Tindall-Bennett to burst forward and deliver a pinpoint cross for Andre James, who chipped goalkeeper Josh Allen from close.
Three goals in 11 minutes in perhaps controversial fashion then left the Fenmen shell-shocked.
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James latched onto Brendon Price's tidy pass after Layton Maddison looked to have been fouled in the build-up, before the striker peeled away from his marker to head home a first-half hat-trick.
It was further misery for Wisbech after defender Beckham Kennelly headed up and over the onrushing Allen on 35 minutes.
Manager Whaley reacted with two changes, Maddison and Liam Marshall replaced by Tiago Nassunculo and debutant defender Dean Grogan, who steadied the ship with an assured performance.
An improved display after the break by Wisbech led to near openings and a flurry of corners, Sam Murphy's leaping header went close while Nassunculo, Kennelly and captain Sam Spencer were all denied.
But as much as they tried, they failed to recover from a first half collapse as Wisbech now look above the rest of the field.
Wisbech: Josh Allen; Aaron Hart, Stacy Cartwright (sub Conor Green, 70'), Liam Marshall (sub Dean Grogan, 36'), Beckham Kennelly, Sam Spencer (C), Matt Sparrow, Sam Murphy, Jordan Macleod, Layton Maddison (sub Tiago Nassunculo, 36'), Dylan Edge.
Unused subs: Jack Keeble, Ollie Gale.
Goals: Market Drayton Town - James (16', 24' and 30'), Kennelly own goal (35').
Cautions: Wisbech Town - none.
Man of the match: Dylan Edge.
Referee: Mr Lee Jessup.