NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Fenland bragging rights belong to March Town as they dump Wisbech Town out of county cup
- Credit: Archant
March Town clinched the local bragging rights over Wisbech Town after a slender 1-0 victory at the GER in a tense Cambs Invitation Cup tie on Tuesday night.
Hares forward Craig Gillies' header on 75 minutes was the difference in a tightly-contested affair that possessed little quality in the final third.
The result means March now make it three consecutive wins and beyond the first round after defeat to Linton Granta at this stage last season.
For Wisbech, it's now successive losses as their scoring streak in every game stretching back to August 26 came to an abrupt end.
Both teams adopted an expansive style of play early, although clear-cut chances were difficult to come by.
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Fenmen manager Seb Hayes made a host of changes for this tie, including Tiago Nassunculo, who often troubled March full-back Dylan Kilford with his pace and trickery.
Both goalkeepers were called into action regularly, Nassunculo and Danny Setchell testing March's Charlie Congreve, with Sam Wilson on alert to thwart Gillies midway through a tight first half.
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Hares boss Brett Whaley started Jack Rawson ahead of Scott Callaghan from last weekend's win over Ipswich Wanderers, and this switch proved pivotal to the game's deciding moment.
Neat interlinking passing in midfield allowed Rawson the opportunity to deliver a right-sided cross having evaded his defender, enabling Gillies to head home at the back-post.
Beforehand, the home pressure was mounting, Kilford's burst into the penalty area being halted yards from goal, while ex-Fenmen striker Jack Friend skewed one of a handful of attempts wide.
There could have been a different outlook had Zydane Richardson's swiped effort found the bottom corner past a helpless Congreve, or if Joel Earps' swivelled shot on 86 minutes came to fruition.
Not only was attack the key to success in the 116th Fen derby, but a solid defensive line, where one lapse of concentration became the ingredient to March's latest cup shock and Wisbech's miserable night.
March Town: Charlie Congreve; Drew Barker, Dylan Kilford, Adam Rothery, Danny Emmington (C), Jamie Short, Josh Burrows (sub Scott Callaghan, 77'), Jack Rawson, Jack Friend, Toby Allen, Craig Gillies. Unused subs: Lewis Gibson, Mo Hamza, Brody Warren.
Wisbech Town: Sam Wilson; Jay Whyatt, Liam Marshall, Declan Rogers, Tom Curtis, Sam Spencer (C), Josh Moreman, Danny Setchell, Oli Shackleton (sub Layton Maddison, 46') Zydane Richardson (sub Joel Earps, 68'), Tiago Nassunculo (sub Aaron Hart, 77').
Referee: Mr Jordan Marin