Ely 0 Seasiders 3

Thurlow Nunn League

Premier Division

Saturday 14th April 2018

Story: Barry Grossmith Pictures: Stan Baston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 When The side set out for The Ellgia Stadium, home of Ely City FC on Saturday morning, they did so in the knowledge that four wins from the remaining six games would guarantee at least second spot in The Thurlow Nunn, Premier Division. But the true goal was clearly title winners and this would very likely mean no slip-ups at all between now and the end of the season.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Ely Manager Brady Stone                                       'Hello, Is it me you're looking for?'

Although the hosts were in a mid table position of 14th place The Robins would no doubt have their own goals in mind prior to the game and so it was clear a competitive game would be the order of the day. Despite their recent poor form of picking up just one point from a possible 18, Ely had a strong home record and just a few weeks ago had offered strong opposition away to Coggeshall despite a 4-1 scoreline which flattered the home side. 

Speaking on Tuesday to The Ely Standard, boss Bradley Stone commented, “We’re playing well but we’re just not putting the chances away”. He went on to add, “We’ve been ahead with 20 minutes to go in our last two games and ended up with nothing”. As always, The Seasiders approached the fixture very seriously, knowing they would be working hard throughout this game and hard right through until the end of the final game of the season.

In the end the side did indeed have to work hard in order to come away with all three points, a couple of top class saves from Danny Crump and some fine defending from Dan Davis helped secure the win in what has turned out to be a tight title race to the end. The large contingent of away fans among the 119 spectators were grateful for the points even though they knew this wasn’t The Seasiders’ most convincing display this season.

Ely impressed in the early exchanges with Felixstowe having to work hard to keep the Robins at bay. With 20 minutes on the clock, Callum Bennett had a fine effort tipped over the bar by keeper Harry Reynolds but the first real chance of the game came after 34 minutes when Alex Theobold failed to find the net in front of an open goal. A minute later, an effort from Joe Francis receiving the ball from the hard working Sam Ford crossed the line, clipping an Ely defender on the way.

The second half saw a string of substitutions with Reggie Pelling and Ethan Clarke replacing the injured Miles Powell and Josh Kerridge on 53 and 57 minutes. Ollie Brooks was replaced by Sam Goodge and Jamie Alsop came on for Nick Heap on 66 minutes for the home side.

The game settled down again when, after 71 minutes, Francis delighted the away fans with a fine goal following a run from the halfway line, passing Brown on the way to a surgical finish and making life for the Seasiders just that little bit more comfortable.

Nick Ingram came on for Bennett with 15 minutes remaining and there was still time for plenty of goal mouth action with Crump diving to his left to save at the feet of Liam Griffin just minutes before Francis converted from the spot following a contentious hand ball decision.

With just seconds remaining, it was a penalty at the other end, giving Jamie Thurlbourne the opportunity to spoil Felixstowe’s recent run of clean sheets, only for Crump to dive to his left to save.

Ingram came close to adding a fourth just before the final whistle but was denied by the impressive Reynolds.  

Speaking after the game, Ely boss Bradley Stone had no real complaints, adding that clinical finishing was needed in order to beat sides such as Felixstowe. He felt his team had played well, particularly in the early stages, and thought 3-0 was perhaps a bit harsh, but admitted that the home side had not taken their chances when they were offered.

       

Felixstowe are back in action next Saturday at home to Saffron Walden. By then Coggeshall will have played one game and Stowmarket, with a very busy schedule, will have been in action on both Tuesday and Thursday. One week from now things could still be just as tight as they are today. No doubt the red and white army will be out in force regardless, adding to all the hard work being done by Kevin and Watty as well as all the players, staff and volunteers.

A full catalogue of pictures from the game can be found in our 'Gallery' section of the website!