Wisbech add another Fenland Park memory

Chris Lakey FA VASE & RIDGEONS LEAGUE: Fenland Park said goodbye to the FA Vase in style on Saturday with a five-goal haul by Wisbech Town - but the old ground still has some life left in it yet.

Chris Lakey

Fenland Park said goodbye to the FA Vase in style on Saturday with a five-goal haul by Wisbech Town - but the old ground still has some life left in it yet.

The Fenmen have enjoyed some of their greatest successes in the Vase, with semi-final appearances in consecutive seasons in the mid-80s.

And the first qualifying round tie against Swaffham on Saturday, which Wisbech comfortably won 5-0, was due to have been the final competitive match at Fenland Park - until Ridgeons League officials saw a chance to rearrange a league match scheduled for next April, which means this Saturday's game against Dereham will be the last game before the doors finally close after Mark Jimson's testimonial against King's Lynn a week tonight.

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Wisbech boss Steve Taylor was happy enough to see Town in the next round, although concerned at the failed opportunity to rack up a cricket score.

“We could have got into double figures,,” he said. “Once we were 3-0 up we started playing, but we should have done that from the start. We're still a long way from where I want us to be.”

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Nick Impey put Town ahead after six minutes and hit the bar three minutes later, but Swaffham - bottom of Ridgeons Division One without a point in five games - were indebted to keeper Trevor Marshall for a stunning save to beat out Billy Smith's first-time shot after good work by new French signing, Safian Bennour.

The Pedlars held out until 20 minutes into the second half, when Stuart Cobb scored after a corner. Impey hit the frame of the goal twice in a matter of seconds before Scott Cubberley made it 3-0 on 73 minutes. Cobb got his second 10 minutes from time before Cubberley wrapped it up with a lob from the edge of the area.

Wisbech travel to Walsham-le-Willows in the second qualifying round, where they will be joined by Gorleston, who beat Deeping Rangers 2-0 at Emerald Park, and Mildenhall, who beat Godmanchester 3-0. Gorleston now travel to Holbeach while Mildenhall are at home to Thetford. Fakenham's hopes were ended 4-0 at Debenham LC.

In Ridgeons Premier Division action, Dereham did rivals Lowestoft a favour with a 3-0 home win over Tiptree which helped the Trawler Boys move into second place, behind Wivenhoe, after a 5-0 hammering of King's Lynn Reserves.

Lowestoft's goals came from Dale Cockrill, Ross King, Gary McGee, Neil Plaskett and Russell Stock.

Dereham, who started the season with two defeats, made it three league wins in a row after Craig Terrington missed an early penalty. Danny Beaumont's 38th-minute goal gave them the lead at the break, Terrington made up for his miss by scoring with an inswinging corner and Sam Willis added the third.

Wroxham were denied an excellent win at Needham Market when they were held to a 2-2 draw after an equaliser deep in injury time. Kirkley & Pakefield won 3-1 at Felixstowe with goals from Paul Highfield, Nathan Stone and Chris Henderson.

In Division One, Diss are third after a

5-2 win at Ipswich Wanderers, their goals coming from Stephen Best, Ben Deacon, Danny McKail, Leighton Miller and Andy Moody. Yarmouth are fourth, a point behind Diss, after they hammered Long Melford 5-1, with two goals apiece from Adey Ager and Darren Lamb and one from Scott Woodcock.

Downham Town's troubles continue after they were beaten 3-2 at home by Thetford. Only Swaffham are below Downham, who have lost all six of their league games this season and are above their local rivals only by virtue of their goals record.

A much-changed Thetford side went ahead through Simon Mann, and although Tim Kavanagh equalised four minutes later, Mann again put Thetford ahead. Again the lead didn't last long, with James Goude sliding in to level it, before Lee Devlin clinched the points for the visitors.

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