‘It was horrible to watch’: March Town boss Bartlett slams Hares’ opening day defeat

March Town beat rivals Wisbech Town 3-0 last Saturday but fell to a 2-0 Thurlow Nunn Division One op

March Town beat rivals Wisbech Town 3-0 last Saturday but fell to a 2-0 Thurlow Nunn Division One opening day defeat to Wisbech St Mary on Tuesday. - Credit: Archant

March Town boss Chris Bartlett admitted a losing start to the Thurlow Nunn League First Division season was ‘horrible to watch’.

The Hares slipped to a 2-0 derby defeat at the hands of newly-promoted Wisbech St Mary at the GER on Tuesday night. It was the Saints’ first-ever victory in non-league football.

March fell behind to a contentiously-awarded penalty nine minutes into the second half of a game which attracted an excellent attendance of 225.

Their fate was then sealed by a moment of genius in the closing stages as Saints man Danny Emmington caught Hares goalkeeper Dave Beeny napping with a free-kick struck from the halfway line.

Bartlett said: “A home defeat wasn’t the way we were looking to start the season. It was a really scrappy game as derby matches often tend to be. It was horrible to watch in all honesty.

“The first goal was always going to be crucial and unfortunately that arrived following a shocking penalty decision against us. Then we switched off for the second goal after a player had received treatment, but it was a hell of a strike.

“We didn’t play well enough to get anything out of the game. That’s a disappointment in front of a terrific crowd.”

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Kev Holt volleyed over March’s best chance of the first half. Luke Pepper then squandered a glorious chance to level moments after the spot-kick setback as he headed wide from a pinpoint Jordan Fiddes cross.

Next up for March is a trip to league newcomers Coggeshall, who have had successive promotions in the past two seasons, tomorrow. They then host Haverhill Borough on Tuesday.

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