Thursday, 27 December 2012

Tenmen Fenmen Can't Win

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Wednesday 26 December 2012 at The Elgoods Fenland Stadium
Wisbech Town 0 Godmanchester Rovers 0
Eastern Counties Premier League (Step 5)
Ground no. 498 and the first half of today’s double.  Here because the home club made a helpful early declaration of “game on” on Twitter.
Pre-match preparation
Not much! (My original plan had been to go to Mildenhall but Wisbech confirmed first.)  League table would suggest that Wisbech (in 4th) would see this as a winnable home fixture.
This match in one sentence
One for the enthusiasts, a match that was reasonably entertaining both because of and in spite of the pitch.
So what?
Wisbech are now 5th and Godmanchester are 14th.
The drama unfolds
It could be that this game would have been called off on any other day of the year, but Boxing Day crowds are important to the lower league turnover.  The surface was tricky and contributed to a couple of early nervy moments for Rob Mackney in the Rovers goal.  Wisbech were on top territorially in the early stages and here is the scene-setter clip from 15 minutes in.  Wisbech are in red.

The best save of the half, though came at the other end, as Lea Jordan was called into action to save a direct free-kick.  My second clip is from the 35-min mark, and we reached half-time without a goal but with the home side looking more threatening.  0-0 at half-time

The second half started in much the same vein.

With a quarter of the game left, Dubi Ogbonna, always a nuisance up front for Wisbech (of the lumbering rather than the speedy kind today but the pitch had a part in that) stung Mackney’s palms but then a red card changed the game.  Wisbech’s Chris Bacon gave me the Tenmen Fenmen rhyming couplet with a tackle on halfway.

The pitch was now a pudding in midfield and Wisbech made a double substitution and sent on four fresh legs up front, shared in the usual way between two people.  (I can’t have this blog becoming too mainstream in its reporting.)  The tactic nearly worked, but gradually Godmanchester realised they could win this as they started to move the ball around more patiently.  With only a couple of minutes to go, they came close from this set piece.

There was time for Stacy Cartwright to shoot just wide from distance for Wisbech but the game ended goalless.  The home side will feel they should have put the game to bed earlier, and the away side might have a sense of a missed opportunity.  So, probably a fair result on the day.  Final score 0-0
The programme

Something Random
The Acme "Fenmaster" Mark 2 Ball Retriever
Hopping for Moorfields Update
I have some sponsors that are specifically paying out on 0-0 draws, so actually this is not a bad result for the charitable pot!
What Next?
AFC Sudbury v Needham Market is a step 4 local derby, and there should be enough time for a comfortable and scenic journey southwards.

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