Reserves lose 4 - 1 at Wisbech
Reserves suffer 4 - 1 away defeat at Wisbech St Mary in Senior B
The long trip to Wisbech St Mary started at 12.30, travelling for over an hour to somewhere with a nice set-up but a bleak place. It was second of three consecutive away games, against a side that was always going to be tough to place especially at home and when 6th in the league table. A few regulars were missing so it was a slightly changed line-up and squad compared with our matches up to the Bar Hill cup semi-final. We still had a strong look...
Team: Luca, Cam R, Ryan, Csaba, Jack, Baz ©, Josh, Cam B, Rickie, Callum, Rob
Subs: Jamie, Vagner, Suki
With a changed back line and from reverting to a 4-2-3-1 formation, it took us a little while to settle into the game. Wisbech seemed like they weren't up for the challenge and expected an easy ride (which they kind of had in the end). 10 minutes in a couple of good tackles and blocks kept the game level. Disaster struck soon after as Josh made a great challenge in the middle of the pitch but clearly felt it, and after a few more minutes of soldiering on he had to exit the game.
Wisbech scored during this time when a freekick from the edge of the box was headed home but the unmarked centre back. Our misery continued as Callum was forced off with injury before the 20 minute mark. Both teams battled it out until half time, with the hosts taking in a 2 - 0 lead after a simple finish following a good move before the break.
Rob was struggling with a knee injury towards the end of the half, and was replaced for the second period by Cam B who had cut his first half short due to feeling unwell. This half didn't start much better as an early penalty was converted to make it 3 - 0 to our opponents.
The game descended into some choices words and a bit of confrontation from about 60 minutes in as, having felt they had already won the game and knowing fouls were going unpunished, Wisbech introduced dirty tactics. We rose to the challenge with committed tackles and stuck up for ourselves, but couldn't prevent conceding a 4th goal from a move on the break.
Cam B, now moved up front as part of a 4-4-2 formation with Rickie, reduced the arrears around halfway into the half as he broke through on goal and slotted past the goalkeeper at the near post following a perfect through-ball.
We ended the game with 10 players as Cam R was the next injury victim pulling up when breaking away down the right, after valiantly battling through with a tight hamstring, and our 3 subs unable to replace him due to their own injury woes.
Another disappointing display by CUP, not helped by missing a number of players and suffering early injuries. Wisbech deserved to win but employed questionable tactics for the final third of the match. It's now time to move on quickly and make amends next week when we face fellow mid-table rival Lakenhetah Reserves and avenge our 5 - 1 cup defeat there earlier in the season. The club's Soul Night was a roaring success which hopefully sets the tone for a good week ready for next Saturday...