FA CUP REACTION: March Town United boss Whaley: ‘YouTube masterplan helped shackle Reed’
CUNNING March Town United boss Brett Whaley revealed some YouTube homework helped his side shackle Wisbech Town ace Callum Reed yesterday.
Whaley’s masterplan paid off with first Lewis Cook and then Nathan Smith keeping the Fenmen’s midfield ace quiet.
Reed - who was booked for a wild hack on Cook as his frustration grew - was subbed as the Hares held higher-league Wisbech to a 1-1 draw in yesterday’s FA Cup Preliminary Round clash at the GER.
Speaking after the game, Whaley said: “Callum got frustrated and that was our aim. A few lads in the dressing room know him and he’s the type of player that wants to dominate games and he’s capable of doing that. “We’ve watched all of Wisbech’s goals on YouTube and a lot of things come through him. A lot of things happen for Wisbech when sides give him space and we didn’t want to allow that.
“The remit for what Lewis Cook did was pretty basic. We said, you follow him around, you stop him and you never get further than five yards from him. After about 10 minutes he got 10 yards away and Callum did him and that was the indication that he couldn’t do that anymore.
“From then on I thought he was absolutely excellent. Once he’d got a booking we couldn’t risk him so Nathan (Smith) came on and did very well too.
“I’m not saying that plan is always going to work - I’m not saying we’re going to do it again on Tuesday - but for this game we wanted to give ourselves an opportunity to maybe look at making them change their gameplan. If anything, what we did just shows how highly we rate Callum as a player.
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“I’m absolutely delighted with how the boys played. Their work rate and how we stuck to our gameplan was very pleasing.”
Ridgeons Premier Division Wisbech Town took the lead through Liam Nimmo in the 25th minute before March hit-back on the half-hour mark.
Inspirational captain Luke Pepper’s curling free-kick pulled the sides level to set up Tuesday’s replay at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium.
Whaley praised his skipper - who has been battling a virus for almost a fortnight - and returning left-back Marc Welcher who was awarded the official Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard man of the match award for his tenacious display.
The Hares boss said: “Lewis was excellent but Marc Welcher was man of the match in my eyes and Adam Sutton wasn’t far behind him.
“Dan Jenkins in his first game of season did a good job too and the reality is that defensively we looked like rocks today.
“Marc and Luke (Pepper) are March lads. They’ve both had offers to leave this club but March means the world to them. When a game like this comes around they just play on adrenaline.
“Pep’s been so ill and you could see with his effort at the end that he had nothing left in him. The other lads who have stepped up to this level for me this season are the ones that really pleased me.
“They’ve not played in front of this many people, or are used to this sort of hype and rivalry and they didn’t hide. They were a credit to themselves.”
“I’m proud of everyone but there’s a slight tinge of disappointment because we could have nicked it and won. “We’ve just got to believe in ourselves more - when the lads start to believe how good they can be we will start achieving things.”
The March boss admitted he was delighted with the attendance - a stunning 1,100 - but is hoping for an equally impressive performance in Tuesday’s replay.
The winner of the tie - which can go to penalties and extra-time if required - will earn �1,500 and a home fixture with Wroxham in the next round.
Whaley said: “The key for me is my boys went out and gave a great performance. “We’ve got nothing to lose on Tuesday. We went in yesterday thinking can we, can we compete with them? And now we know we can.
“Having said that Steve Appleby’s going to fire them up, they’re going to come at us and they’re at home. I would suggest the first-half is key because if they get ahead and get people behind them it’ll be difficult to turn them around.
“If we keep it quiet, and we keep them quiet, and the longer we stay in the game then the pressure turns. I’m not saying we’ll go out to defend but if we nick a goal it could change everything.”
Tuesday’s mouth-watering replay kicks-off at 7.45pm