Boss gives players the plaudits for revitalising Wakes

Abbey Lawn - Bourne Town v Long Buckby first-half action
First goal
Abbey Lawn - Bourne Town v Long Buckby first-half action First goal

Wakes joint boss Jimmy McDonnell has heaped praise on his players for revitalising the fortunes of the Abbey Lawn club.

Bourne go into Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated FA Vase clash with Wisbech Town on the back of a fine run of form.

They have won four games on the bounce ahead of the second qualifying round clash which included booking their place in the quarter-finals of the Lincolnshire Senior Trophy on Tuesday night with a 3-2 home success over league rivals Harrowby United.

And McDonnell believes it is his players who deserve all the plaudits as they target a second successive Premier Division scalp in the FA Vase after defeating Harborough Town in the last round.

He said: “The lads are full of confidence at the moment. They are a real honest bunch and we’ve got a good little system which is working well.

“People in the town have been coming up to me and saying well done for our results recently, but it is the players that deserve all the credit.

“I remember being at Bourne when there was about 17 people watching. There was more people at Tesco Express - but the stand was packed on Tuesday night which was great to see.

“We are putting in the time to get it right, but the players have been a credit to themselves for the performances they are putting in.”

Bourne will face a Wisbech side who recently changed their manager with ex-King’s Lynn boss Gary Setchell taking over from Dick Creasey.

Setchell has seen his charges win both their games since returning to the Fenmen helm and boasts a squad packed full of experienced Premier Division players.

McDonnell commented: “It will be a different scenario from what we’re used to against Wisbech because they have a lot of quality, but they will still have the same amount of players on the pitch as us.

“They have paid us the biggest compliment by sending someone to watch us on Tuesday night. It shows we must be doing something right.

“There’s a real belief in our squad so there’s no reason why we can’t go out and get a result.

“The lads are going to have to work hard and probably take themselves to places they’ve never been before, but you just never know with football.”

Eddie McDonald and Gavin Cooke both miss the Vase clash.

An injury-time winner saw the Wakes reach the last eight of the Lincolnshire Senior Trophy after a 3-2 home success over league rivals Harrowby United on Tuesday night.

Jordan Avis’ well-struck cross was turned into his own net by Arrows defender Ash Miles to hand Bourne a tie with either Pinchbeck United or Sleaford Town in the quarter-finals.

Joint boss Jimmy McDonnell said: “We played some really good stuff and at times they couldn’t live with us.”

Bourne dominated the early stages on Tuesday night but, against the run of play, a fine solo effort from Sam Grouse gave the Arrows the lead just past the half-hour mark.

The Wakes equalised right on the stroke of half-time through Jezz Goldson-Williams and then good work from Tommy Cardall created an opening for the in-form Bourne frontman to put the home side ahead after 70 minutes.

A defensive error allowed Grouse to grab his second and level the match which looked to be heading to penalties.

However, in injury time, Avis fired over a fierce cross that was turned into his own net by Miles with a posse of Bourne players waiting to pounce.