Wisbech Town
Fenland Park

Ground No. 163
Visited - Saturday 13th September 2008
Result - Wisbech Town 2-6 Dereham Town
Competition - Eastern Counties League, Premier Division
Attendance - 240

According to Les Ferdinand, Fenland Park, home of Wisbech Town is the most intimidating venue he ever played at in a career spanning over two decades! It sounds slightly dubious, but even with that in mind, not to mention the clubs imminent departure, I was determined to make the journey, choosing the final competitive game against Dereham as the one to go to.
Billed as ‘The Capital of the Fens’, Wisbech is situated right on the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border, so it wasn’t too bad a journey, setting out just after 7:30am and arriving some four hours later, having had to wait in Peterborough for a coach to Wisbech itself due to no trains serving the town. After arriving, then I spent the next few hours in the centre, which is a quiet, pleasant little market town, grabbing a drink before it was time to make my way down to the ground.

From the outside, there isn’t a lot to see other than a potholed car park and the turnstiles sandwiched in between neighbouring houses, but once in, then the ground opens up into a splendid sight that you just wonder where to start looking at first! Beginning with where you come in is the Lerowe Road End, where a small covered terrace fills most of the width of the pitch and has the boardroom to one side and the changing rooms/clubhouse to the other with the turnstiles and club shop immediately behind it. Over to the left sits the Main Stand with uncovered terracing flanking it either side. The stand itself features five rows of rather uncomfortable seats welded onto the concrete with no backrests, whilst behind it sits a toilet block that has been reclaimed by nature (see pic) and subsequently cordoned off from the fans! The far end is similar to the Lerowe Road End, with five steps of terracing mostly covered, whilst along the near side sits the Fenman Stand, which started life as a Dutch barn, donated to the club and covers the central section of terracing, although the rear of it is quite unusual, with a flat section above the terracing which is covered with dirt and sectioned off from fans. As well as the toilet block, nature has been fighting back on all sides with sections of terracing at the far end grassed over, but this just adds to what is a fantastic ground full of character.

Having taken a few pictures, then there was time for a drink in the clubhouse, before 3pm came round and it was ready to kick-off the last league match to take place here. Wisbech had had a bad start to the season and were sitting in the relegation zone, but it was them that started the brighter, Nick Impey in the 3rd minute smashing a shot against the woodwork as a warning to the visitors. They took the lead in the 19th minute when Scott Cubberley was played in down the centre and managed to chip the onrushing ‘keeper to make it 1-0 to the home side. After that, the first half was mostly even, with neither side really creating any clear cut chances, but whatever Matt Henman said to his team at half time must have worked as the visitors came out and took control in style. The equaliser was so soon after the restart that I ended up missing it, too busy concentrating on a text message before looking up to see Nicky Howell poke the ball home through a crowd of players to make it 1-1. Whether the Wisbech players had consciously shut off is anyone’s guess, but they were made to pay 15 minutes later when Dereham won a penalty following a trip in the box, which was successfully converted to make it 2-1. After that, four goals in the space of 12 minutes sealed a rout for Dereham, starting with Howell grabbing his second on 72 minutes when he rounded the ‘keeper to hit it into an empty net, before Jason Hunt grabbed a brace which included a lob of the goalkeeper and a knock in from a corner, prior to Craig Terrington rounding the game off to a chorus of boos from the home fans when he shot home from the edge of the area. There was time for Wisbech to get a consolation, and it was even more comical than their defending when Cubberley, one on one, hit a weak shot straight at John Higgs in the goal, who bent down to pick it up, but bizarrely let the ball run straight through his hands and legs into the net, not that it made much of a difference with the referee blowing his whistle shortly afterwards to bring an end to the game.

Maybe because of the loss, or perhaps because it was the umpteenth ‘last game’ they’d seen, there was no fanfare as the fans left the ground with it being probably the worst way they’d imagined leaving their home of 61 years. After leaving myself, then I made my way home without any problems, having personally quite enjoyed the day out.

Overall, I was really glad to have got to see the ground, even if it is just the once. With character in abundance then it’s a real cracker and one that you can’t possibly help find yourself falling in love with. Normally it’s one I’d strongly recommend to go to if you haven’t been, but if you haven’t then bad luck! It really is/was one of a dying breed. 

Fenland Park, 1947 - 2008.

Welcome to Fenland Park

The Turnstiles

The Clubhouse

The Club Shop

The Lerowe Road End

The Main Stand

The Overgrown Toilets
 (go behind the tree, if you can get past it!)

Terracing adjacent to the Main Stand

The Far End

The Fenman Stand

Overgrown Terracing

Inside the Fenman Stand

The Main Stand

The Players Tunnel

Ready for the final Kick Off

The Far End

Last action at the Ground

Fenland Park Panoramic 1

Fenland Panoramic 2


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