REACTION/PREVIEW: Fenmen set for title, but Furnell so proud of his promotion-winning Cuckoos
Yaxley manager Andy Furnell reckons his team pulled off a minor miracle in winning promotion from the United Counties Premier Division.
The Cuckoos sealed a first season at step four level with a 1-0 win at Kirby Muxloe in their final league fixture on Tuesday (May 1). Wisbech did the same by winning by a solitary Adam Millson goal at Daventry on the same night.
The Fenmen will pip Yaxley to the title if they beat Daventry at home tomorrow (May 5), but Furnell insists that won’t dilute his side’s ‘amazing’ achievement.
Yaxley were 12th when Furnell and his assistant Scott Bogusz took charge at In2itive Park in November. They subsequently won 20, drew two and lost just two of their remaining 26 fixtures to hit the top of the table.
Crucially one of those defeats was a 1-0 reverse at Wisbech.
“With our budget we have no right to be where we are,” Furnell stated. “We can’t match what Wisbech spend or what other clubs have spent to get into step four in the past.
“We’ve been on an amazing run and we’ve achieved it by playing high quality, attacking football. We are one of the highest scorers at our level in the country and I’m very proud of how we’ve played.
“We were 16 points behind a strong Newport Pagnell team when we took over and we have managed to finish above them
“I have to say a big thank you to the players, my managament staff and everyone behind the scenes as it’s been a great team effort.
“We probably won’t win the league now - a blatant penalty we were denied at Wisbech looks even more crucial now - but we are still in a couple of cups so there’s plenty to play for.
“Next season will be tougher obviously, but we have a set up here that is geared towards a higher level and our form in the second half of this season has proved we are now too good for step five.”
Football League pyramid restructuring means Yaxley will have to wait until the end of the month to see what step four division they will enter. There’s a good chance they will be in the same division as local rivals Peterborough Sports.
Tom Waumsley scored the Yaxley goal at Kirby Muxloe, the club’s 137th in 42 matches.
Yaxley take on Premier Division rivals Leicester Nirvana in the UCL Cup Final at Raunds FC on Monday May 7, (3pm). They also have a Hinchingbrooke Cup semi-final with Eynesbury to rerrange. Deeping have yet to arrange their semi-final with Huntingdon Town.
Wisbech are likely to move in a different step four direction to Yaxley, but they have also been handsomely rewarded for following a poor start with a stunning run of form.
The Fenmen lost four of their first six Premier Division matches which led to the appointment of Gary Setchell as manager. They’ve lost just four times since to move within a win of the title.
Wisbech go into their final game in great form. They’ve won their last five matches without conceding a goal.
“It’s hard to win a league, but we are on the cusp,” Setchell said. “We’re proud to have won promotion, but we want to finish the job in style in front of our own fans.”
Saturday, May 5
UNITED COUNTIES LEAGUE
Premier Division: Deeping Rangers v Northampton ON Chenecks, Kirby Muxloe v Holbeach United, Peterborough Northern Star v Newport Pagnell Town, Wisbech Town v Daventry Town.
Division One: Long Buckby v Bourne Town, Lutterworth Athletic v Huntingdon Town, Lutterworth Town v Blackstones.
THURLOW NUNN EASTERN LEAGUE
Division One: Debenham v March Town United, Wisbech St Mary v Holland.