HomeFeaturedLocal SportThe Blues Hit The Fenmen For Four

The Blues Hit The Fenmen For Four

It is a sign of the growing attraction that Leek Town have become that they were able to attract a crowd of 380 to Harrison Park on the final Saturday before Christmas – a time when last-minute shopping usually takes precedence. And those who did attend saw the Blues sweep aside a dogged Wisbech outfit by four goals to nil thanks to efforts from Matt Bell, Darren Chadwick, Rob Stevenson and Tim Grice.

The pernickety among us would say that the margin of victory should have been even greater. Leek failed to hit the target with three free-kicks from dangerous positions and Chadwick had a penalty saved by Sam Wilson who made a number of crucial saves to keep the score down. But all in all, this was a very comfortable win that keeps Leek joint leaders.

After a very slow start to the game the deadlock was finally broken midway through the first period. Louis Keenan was fed the ball wide on the left and put a perfect cross into the danger area. Bell was allowed to ghost in and hit a left-footed volley into the ground and over the keeper from six yards out.

The Fenmen worked hard to keep a rampant Blues attack at bay with young Beckham Kennelly putting in a good shift but the visitors were undone again shortly before the break. The referee had just signalled that there were two minutes to be added at the end of the first half when Wilson fumbled a shot round his post. Once again Wisbech’s marking was less than effective and Chadwick was left with a clear header to double the home side’s advantage.

It did not take long after the restart for the Blues to add to their tally. The visiting defenders made the mistake of backing off from Stevenson and the Leek forward made them pay the full price by curling a left-footed effort into the bottom corner.

Grice probably should have opened his account when put clear but was denied by the Wisbech keeper’s outstretched leg. However, the record goal scorer made amends shortly afterwards. It seemed that the chance had gone when Grice’s initial effort was blocked. But the Leek number nine was alert enough to recover the ball and find the net despite the keeper getting a strong hand to the ball.

The chance to make it five was spurned when a spot kick was awarded in bizarre fashion. Aaron Bott was clearly brought down inside the area but the referee allowed the play to continue. The penalty was only awarded after Bott had fired over from a tight angle. Unfortunately for the home supporters the normally reliable Leek skipper opted for placement rather than power and Wilson pulled off a great save.

The visitors showed little as an attacking force until the introduction of Tiago Nassunculo who provided some energy to the flagging Fenmen and created space for the visitors’ only effort on target.

Following the match Assistant Manager Peter Ward spoke exclusively to Moorlands Radio and said “Wisbech had a new Manager and I think they played well for him. We said at training on Thursday we wanted to win the right way and I think we did. We coped with everything they threw at us and we could have scored a few more goals.

I was confused with the penalty decision but in the end the referee did the right thing. The keeper made a good save but we won 4-0 in the first game of the Christmas period and what we have to do now is prepare for Glossop which will be a tough game.

We are instilling in the players that they do their job first but play when they can and I thought it was a professional performance today. There may have to be changes for Thursday. Chris Baker jarred his thigh and Bell got a bit of a naughty one and had to come off but he is having treatment now and I think he’ll be OK.”

Dave Stringer
Dave Stringer
Sports Reporter and Theatre Critic

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