In a game that many thought would be an uphill struggle for Oadby Town it turned out that they could have been worthy victors in a fabulous tie at Freeway Park. For the home support it must have felt like a long afternoon was in store as Wisbech found the net inside ten minutes of the first half. Alex Beck drawing first blood with a well taken goal for the visitors after the Poachers seemingly switched off in all departments. Five minutes later it could have been two after Kieran Hamilton broke through the Oadby defence only to see his well struck shot meet the sturdy frame of Tom Hubbard in the Poachers goal.
Oadby started to find their rhythm as the game progressed; creating some good build up play from the middle of the field. On 20 minutes Carlton Beardmore had Oadby’s first chance after Josh Walsh did well to put in a low cross from the edge of the box. However the ball came in quickly and Beardmore’s momentum prevented him from keeping the ball under control before his shot trickled wide. Beardmore was again in with a chance five minutes later finding himself one on one with the Wisbech keeper but the linesman had flagged for offside cutting short the chance to finish.
Just after the half hour mark Oadby had their best chance of the first half. After making a good run down the wing Sam Burton found himself in space on the edge of the box, hitting a high chip over the rushing Sam Vince his shot required a tap in from one of the Oadby attackers but it was not to be and the ball fell narrowly wide of the far post. Despite this spell of pressure Wisbech didn’t panic and in truth controlled the rest of the first half. Whilst not creating much in the way of chances they played out the final fifteen minutes confidently, looking comfortable in possession and spreading the play with some confident passing.
Wisbech started the second half in the same vein and looked likely to score again based on their possession and ability to move the ball forward. However, Oadby began to get back into the game and ten minutes into the half were rewarded for their efforts. Josh Walsh linked up well with Sam Burton in the midfield and the Oadby number eleven scored from a tight angle in the penalty area after some great footwork to keep hold of the ball. This galvanized the Poachers and they started to dominate proceedings for the remainder of the game.
Oadby created the bulk of the chances and will probably wonder how they didn’t take all three points in the end. Beardmore having at least four chances to kill the game his closest coming on the hour mark firing wide from close range after a great delivery from King. Burton also getting involved in the onslaught forcing a cracking save from Wisbech shot stopper Vince after riding the tackles of two defenders before getting his shot away. Had it not been for Vince Oadby surely would have walked away with all three points but two solid saves in the final ten minutes denied them the spoils. Harry Alcock, who as a late substitute had an immediate impact, came close on eighty minutes after latching onto a long ball his powerful, low drive towards goal blocked by the outstretched leg of the keeper. A final goal bound effort from Beardmore three minutes before injury time was pushed to safety as Vince dived low to his right to ensure that the Oadby frontman wouldn’t be the hero of the afternoon.
Both teams clearly wanted the points and a fiercly-contested period of injury time was interrupted by two sendings off. After a Wisbech free kick was awarded the ball was kicked away. This in turn caused tempers to rise and once the resulting pushing and shoving petered out the referee gave Oadby’s Liam Baines his second yellow, closely followed a red for Wisbech’s Joshua Ford. This did little to spoil what was a brilliant ninety minutes and an Oadby performance that will surely give them hope as they continue the fight for safety in the UCL Premier Division.
Match of the Match: Sam Vince (Wisbech Town)