GALLERY: Wisbech Town 1 – 1 AFC Rushden and Diamonds
- Credit: Archant
A stunning strike from Callum Stocks and some resilient defending saw an injury-ravaged Fenmen side earn a hard-fought point on Saturday.
Wisbech went into the United Counties League contest with only two substitutes on the bench and several players deployed out of position.
AFC Rushden and Diamonds, cheered on by several hundred raucous travelling fans, made the stronger start.
But, with 15 minutes on the clock, against the run of the play, Wisbech broke the deadlock.
Stocks picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and unleashed an unstoppable shot with the outside of his right foot past Tom Cross’ despairing dive into the top right hand corner.
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The visitors had a golden opportunity to equalise two minutes later when Fazel Koriya was adjudged to have been brought down by Paul Cousins in the box.
Koriya got up to take the penalty but his effort was saved by Jordan.
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Sean McBride reacted first but, with the goal at his mercy, skied the rebound.
AFC Rushden and Diamonds levelled on 31 minutes through Alfie Taylor, who ran on to Brad Harris’ through ball and calmly slotted past the on-rushing Jordan.
The second half was a scrappy affair with the visitors enjoying the bulk of the chances.
But the Fenmen’s defence, marshalled by captain Jon Fairweather and Cousins, stood firm.
AFC Rushden and Diamonds had to play the last couple of minutes with 10 men after Aaron King was shown a second yellow card for a studs-up tackle.
Joint boss Cousins was pleased with his side’s improved performance after Tuesday’s shock home loss to Sleaford Town.
He said: “We played a lot better and worked a lot harder than against Sleaford.
“But we can’t just do it when we want. We need to play like that every game.
“We showed today what we are capable of, even though it was not our strongest squad.
“We had a midfielder Steven Reid at left-back, Stocks playing centre midfield and Tom James on the left wing.
“We asked them to do a job and they did a great job.”
WISBECH: Jordan, Doherty, Reid, Cousins, Fairweather, Stocks, Clayton, Tricks (Green), White, James (Smith), Battersby.
AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS: Cross, Merrill, Brown, McBride, Deakin, Clarke, Koriya (Liburd), King, Taylor, Harris (Gearing), Dunkley.