Huntingdon Town beat Wisbeach Town to go top of the United Counties League

Ricky Marheineke watches from the sidelines as his Huntingdon team beat Wisbech on Saturday. Picture

Ricky Marheineke watches from the sidelines as his Huntingdon team beat Wisbech on Saturday. Picture: Richard Hughes - Credit: Archant

IT was no matter that there were eight players out, Huntingdon Town still completed their early season double over Wisbech Town on Saturday to go top – yes, top – of the United Counties League Premier Division.

Such is the strength in depth at the Jubilee Park club right now – and the ability of the manager Ricky Marheineke to find players to seamlessly slot into his team when he needs them – it will come as no surprise to ‘the few’ who watch the club week in week out that they are flying so high; higher in fact than they have ever flown before.

Two weeks after beating Wisbech 4-0 at The Fenland Stadium, Huntingdon beat the same side, who have in between lost a manager, 3-2 after going 1-0 up and then 2-1 down. It was an exciting game.

The goals came from central defender Stuart Wall, brought in on loan for the day from Kettering Town on Friday; new striker Jacob Joyce, who signed from Peterborough Northern Star, also on Friday, and stalwart Jamie Graham.

“If you told us five games into the season we would have won four and drawn one we would have snapped your hand off right away,” said Marheineke.

There was a ‘recall’ for the ‘retired’ former captain and midfielder Ricky Dear who bossed the centre of the park alongside Mike Hyem. And for the first 25 minutes there was only one team in it.

Wall scored the opening goal in the third minute when the ball fell to him from a Declan Rogers free-kick and he poked it home from close range. Huntingdon were working harder than Wisbech, were well disciplined and dangerous going forward. The visitors, whose manager Steve Appleby quit the club and are for the meantime under the stewardship of former manager Dick Creasey – looked good in flashes but otherwise unsettled.

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But, slowly, the Fenmen got into the game and the longer Huntingdon took to get a second, the more it looked like the visitors might sneak one. However, their equaliser when it came late in the first half, was a gift: some sloppy defending led to goalkeeper Tim Trebes cannoning the ball into Charlie De’ath and it rolled back into the open net.

Within two minutes of the start of the second half Wisbech were 2-1 up when Ewan Clarke bravely headed home a great cross from Callum Reed.

But after chances for both sides, Huntingdon got back on level terms when Ben Seymour-Shove cut his way in from the left bye-line and fed Joyce who picked his spot from 14 yards.

Just as it looked like it was going to be points-shared, Paul Cousins threw a hand in the air in the box to meet a cross and Graham sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.

“I didn’t think they posed any sort of threat in the first half,” said Marheineke. “They had some good possession but didn’t cause us any problems whatsoever. Tim Trebes didn’t have a save to make.

“In games like that, people get complacent. And Wisbech are a good side, there are always going to be times when they have possession and you have to make sure you defend properly. Their second goal was brilliant. You just have to say ‘good goal’.

“But our second goal showed what we are about – there were four or five good passes and a great finish.

“On the whole it was a good win. It was a game that could have gone either way and I thought a goal would win it and Wisbech deserve some credit.

“They have some good players in their team and they played their part in a very competitive game and thankfully it went our way. It’s coming together.

“I’m really happy.”