Wisbech St Mary boss Duke hails history-making Saints after first Thurlow Nunn win

Wisbech St Mary bounced back from their defeat to AFC Sudbury Reserves with a 2-0 victory at local r

Wisbech St Mary bounced back from their defeat to AFC Sudbury Reserves with a 2-0 victory at local rivals March Town. - Credit: Archant

History was made at Wisbech St Mary on Tuesday night after the Saints picked up their first ever Thurlow Nunn Division One points.

Arran Duke’s men sealed an excellent 2-0 win at Fenland rivals March Town courtesy of second half goals from James McManus and Danny Emmington.

The win was a perfect remedy after the Saints went down by the same scoreline at home to AFC Sudbury Reserves on the opening day of the season, and boss Duke says he knew that Tuesday’s derby would bring out the best from his players.

“I’m really pleased with the result,” he said. “The lads didn’t let me down; it was an excellent performance.

“I think the occasion got to us a little bit against Sudbury.

“We looked a bit nervous as it was our first step on the ladder and they were a very organised team.

“We didn’t play badly but they deserved to win.”

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St Mary were set on their way to their first ever Thurlow Nunn success when McManus slotted home a spot kick ten minutes into the second half, before Emmington sealed the victory with a stunning long-range free kick late on.

The decision to award the villagers a penalty sparked anger in the March camp, and Duke admitted that the decision could have gone either way.

“The controversy mainly came from the March side but it was one of those ones you see given sometimes and other times not,” he said.

“We’ve been on the end of a couple of decisions similar to that so it’s nice to get one in our favour.”

There were no arguments about Emmington’s goal, however.

“It was a great goal,” said Duke.

“If I’m honest I didn’t really see what Danny was trying to do but it was a great strike.

“He’s one of those players that will always try to score goals like that but if it had gone flying over with 15 minutes left then I would’ve been a bit disappointed with him!”

St Mary will now look to build on their derby-day triumph when they host Needham Market Reserves tomorrow (3pm), and Duke says he has a full squad at his disposal.

He said: “Luckily we’ve had everyone come through the first two games unscathed.

“Dean Miller missed our first two matches but we’ve got him coming back and we’re looking strong.”