Wisbech Town FC end their season very late.

I made my way to the edge of town to watch Wisbech Town play their last game of the season. There was good parking at the front of the ground and the turnstile opened up to a large open ground. At 12 degrees it was a long time since I hadn’t needed a scarf or gloves as the sun shone, only occasionally blotted out by some cotton wool clouds tinged with grey. The pitch sloped slightly from end to end and was thickly grassed with daisies and dandelions in bloom showing it had not been cut for a while. There was little wear on the very good surface.

The stadium has a small seated stand in the middle of one side and covered standing behind both goals with a few seats at one end. The other side has open standing but also hosts the club house and the changing rooms. The club house was large with a big bar and catering facilities that were busy and offered a large menu.

Behind one goal was a full sized training pitch and smaller goals for all ages. At one side of the ground was a large drainage ditch, needed in this low lying flat area of the country.

Wisbech were formed in 1920 with the merger of three local teams, they initially played in local Peterborough and Kings Lynn Leagues but soon embarked on a nomadic journey around leagues, United Counties League, East Midlands League, Eastern Counties League, Midland League for starters.

The club stepped up to the Southern League in 1958 but just over a decade later were back in they Eastern Counties League, promoted back to the Midland League in 1997 but 4 years later they were back in the Eastern Counties League and by 2013 back in the United Counties League. Their decline was partly due to financial problems and they had to sell their old ground , moving to their current home in 2010. 2018 saw an upward trend again with promotion to the Northern Premier League East, a lateral move to the Northern Premier League Midland Division due to a reshuffle of clubs led on to their last change a demotion in 2022 to The United Counties Premier Division North. A truly eventful history when it comes to playing in different leagues but in the FA vase competition they have done better reaching two semi-finals and more quarter finals.

Eastwood Community FC have only been in existence since 2014 when they took on the mantle of football in the town after Eastwood Town folded. Eastwood Town had reached as high as the Northern Premier League. They have risen through the Central Midland League and are now placed in the United Counties League. They look certain to be contenders in this league in the future.

Wisbech Town 3 Eastwood Town 2

Saturday 22nd April 2023 15.00 pm kick off

Fountains Park, 380 Lynn Rd, Wisbech PE14 7AL

United Counties League Premier Division North Fenmen v Red Badgers 12th v 16th

Wisbech, all red shirts and shorts: Eastwood, all fluorescent yellow shirts and shorts.

Eastwood made all the early pressure but a break down the wing by Amir Ward saw him beat the full back but his point blank range shot was well smothered by the goalkeeper only for it to rebound to him so that he could roll it into the net.

Amir Ward continually put pressure on the Eastwood defence and they deserved to go in at half time leading by the odd goal. They had been more penetrative and not shot shy on goal like the visitors. Like Eastwood I had a touch of end of season blues as I reflected on what seemed like a practice game.

All was to change when after only six minutes into the second half Tyler Blake for Eastwood burst through and hit a strong volley connecting with a ball from the left. It flew past the goalkeeper whose right hand touched it but didn’t keep it out.

After another 6 minutes Eastwood had created what had seemed like an improbable turn around as Ryan Tait took control of a bobbling ball in a congested goal area and dribbled forward to place the ball under the Wisbech goalkeeper for their second goal. Wisbech now tried to get back in the game but Eastwood’s defence was much tighter although it was now playing much of the game in their own half.

As I walked towards the exit for a quick get away a long range shot was parried down into the path of Mo Janneh who calmly stepped forward to score. The home fans were happy but went delirious a minute later when the ball ping ponging around the Eastwood goal area fell to the near post where Owen Howard was standing to nudge it in.

All over and a great second half for all, which if it had been earlier in the season would have felt like a major set back for the visitors. The 189 fans cheered the end loudly. It’s never over till its over and the 2022/23 season was over for these two teams.

The chips were a big portion, red hot, tasty, not greasy but could have been cooked a little longer, scoring 62.

One thought on “Wisbech Town FC end their season very late.

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