FA CUP REACTION: Proud boss Whaley hopes derby defeat will spur March Town United to promotion

PROUD March Town United boss Brett Whaley claims the FA Cup defeat to Wisbech Town will help spur his team towards promotion from the Ridgeons First Division.

The Hares boss admitted he was disappointed with the 3-2 loss in Tuesday’s preliminary round replay with the Fenmen but praised the bravery of his battling troops.

“Wisbech are a side that are competing for the league above us and we’ve given them a run for their money in two games,” said Whaley.

“We’ll take the positives from that and our aim now is to work towards getting into their division. Games like Tuesday should act as a bit of a catalyst and show us where we want to be.

“Our boys are a world apart from Wisbech. Our boys don’t get paid to play cup games; they just turn out and do it. Half of them have never played in a game like that before but they stood up to be counted.”

March excelled in front of 1,100 people at the GER on Saturday. But Tuesday’s 830-strong crowd at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium was dominated by the Fenmen faithful - and Whaley praised his side’s gutsy response to going 2-0 down in such an intimidating atmosphere.

“It was a lot noisier than it was on Saturday,” he said. “Saturday was a bit of a party atmosphere but Tuesday was more intense. At half time, when we were 2-0 down we could have buckled but we showed character again.

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“We’ve got a very good unit and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t do well in our league but we’ve got to make that happen now.

“Tuesday’s game is the level of football that my boys want to play in and the motivation is there for them. This week has been great for us - now let’s see how we react off the back of it.”

The Hares travel to Ridgeons Premier Division high-flyers Mildenhall Town in the FA Vase First Qualifying Round tomorrow.