Cup heroes hold out for famous victory

PUBLISHED: 13:22 06 October 2006 | UPDATED: 22:16 28 May 2010

Martin McNeil was part of the solid Wisbech defence - Pic: RICHARD HINCKLEY

Martin McNeil was part of the solid Wisbech defence - Pic: RICHARD HINCKLEY

WISBECH Town are through to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup following an heroic performance at Redditch United on Saturday. A combination of clinical finishing and resolute defending gave Wisbech the edge against their opponents from the Conferen

WISBECH Town are through to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup following an heroic performance at Redditch United on Saturday.

A combination of clinical finishing and resolute defending gave Wisbech the edge against their opponents from the Conference North, and the Fenmen survived late pressure to win 3-2.

If the home fans at the Valley Stadium anticipated a comfortable win for the Reds then they were soon disappointed, and it was the travelling Fenmen supporters who were able to celebrate the first goal after just four minutes.

Liam Nimmo's smart finish opened the scoring and, to the delight of the Wisbech fans, it proved to be just the beginning. A delightful chip from Liam Harrold doubled the lead on 19 minutes before the Wisbech striker showed his cool to produce an equally fine finish to make it 3-0 on the halfhour.

Redditch did force their way back in to the game on 36 minutes when full back Asa

Charlton raced forward, cut in from the left and fired in from the edge of the box.

Harrold came close to scoring a first-half hat-trick seven minutes before the break when Evaldo's cross from the right wing was met by the striker's volley just outside the box, but the ball flew straight at Anstiss.

Predictably, the second half was all Redditch but the back four of Chris Dear, Andy Lodge, Evaldo and Martin McNeil, together with brilliant cover from Danny Hammond and skipper Steve Appleby kept the home side at bay.

The Wisbech fans had to hold their breath when Chris Murphy's effort deflected in off the underside of the bar with just five minutes left, but it proved to be too little too late.

Wisbech manager Dick Creasey said: "It was a terrific performance from all the lads and everyone worked so hard to get the result. I told the lads at half time that they would be under severe pressure in the second half, and that proved to be the case, but every single player was heroic."

Wisbech's reward for their fine performance will come on October 14 with another away tie in the third qualifying round against Solihull Borough, who knocked out Alfreton Town with a 3-1 extra time victory in their replay on Tuesday.

Solihull Borough play in the Southern Football League's Midlands Division One and, encouragingly for the Fenmen, they have failed to win a home league game so far this season.

Creasey said: "It will be a very tough match and Solihull will have surprised a few people when they beat Alfreton. But if we can take a big crowd then I am sure that we will be up for it.

"Again, we will be the underdogs but the financial reward from a good FA Cup run is a big prize.

If we can win the game then it would be magic to face the likes of Oxford United or Stevenage Borough in the fourth qualifying round."

Creasey will now concentrate on the FA Vase first round match at Ely City tomorrow (Saturday). Danny Hussey will be available after completing a suspension and Dane Harper, who has signed a month-long extension to his loan contract, will also be available for selection.

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