MATCH VERDICT: Happy return for Stevens
Jamie Stevens headed home the only goal to officially end Holbeach United’s championship challenge.
The former Tigers captain punished poor defending from a set-piece midway through the first half at Carter’s Park on Wednesday night.
The derby highlighted the difference between title contenders Wisbech Town and a top-five team who didn’t really want to push for promotion anyway.
Off the pitch, Holbeach are happy to stay at this level. Performances and results proved that they are not quite good enough to go up either.
The Fenmen were hanging on at the end - just like you must do at times to be successful - as they got pushed all the way.
Both managers agreed a draw would have been a fair result.
However, Holbeach couldn’t find a way past legendary goalkeeper Paul Bastock on his 1,275th senior appearance.
Spencer Tinkler wasted a golden chance after two minutes by missing the target at the far post.
A second-half header was deflected onto the post immediately after Bastock brilliantly pushed out George Zuerner’s effort.
Bastock came out of the penalty area in first-half stoppage-time to deny Zuerner who, along with substitute Charley Sanders, also saw a late opportunity cleared inside the six-yard box.
A goalline clearance halted Holbeach again while, at the other end, Rick Drury was not tested when Billy Smith and Michael Frew found space.
Frew’s header was disallowed for offside but Wisbech boosted their bid with a huge result.
4-2-3-1: Drury; Harker, Braithwaite, N Jackson, A Jackson; J Smith, Tinkler (sub Curtis 86 mins); Bird (sub Cartwright 74 mins), Griffiths, Zuerner; Leckie (sub Sanders 63 mins). Sub not used: Barker.
4-1-4-1: Bastock; Ford, Fairweather, Stevens, Wilson (sub Hart 84 mins); Murphy; Davison, Setchell (sub Bendon 74 mins), Millson, W Smith (sub Bunting 90 mins); Frew. Subs not used: Pilbeam, Cousins.
Stevens (22 mins, 0-1).
J Smith (foul); Setchell, A Jackson, Sanders (unsporting behaviour).