Dennis Lightning was moaning in the local paper last week about the number of games Ely had left, so I was expecting a fixture bonanza at Ely at the end of the season, and I thought Dennis was on to something with the amount of weeks in Winter where I was left fixtureless. However, it turns out that of the 9 games Ely have left; 4 are at home and I'm away for 3 of them and working on the other one.
Therefore, last night was probably my last trip of the season to the Unwin, not even the reserves have a game left I'll be able to go to.
At one time it looked like Ely might have a relegation battle on their hands, but apart from the demise of Kings Lynn Reserves (it looks like the first team will be playing in the Eastern Counties next season) and Harwich & Parkestone Ely have put together a fine run of wins of late, so I was expecting that run to end last night.
The game itself was a pretty rough encounter, which culminated in Brady Stone limping off injured near the end, although there was no malice intended in that challlenge at least. For long periods Debenham LC, the opponents, looked a bit clueless, although they had a chance to go ahead early on when they were awarded a penalty, but they shot wide. Similarly, Ely looked a bit hopeless in front of goal and were missing forwards Robbie Mason and Scott Fielding, so that was hardly surprising. Ely, however went ahead mid way through the first half with Ben Lawrence heading in from a corner kick.
In the second half Ely started well, but after about 10 minutes Debenham got back in the game and had 20 minutes of dominance. Lee Pacey in goals was on fine form, however and despite one miss kicked clearance he remained solid. Ben Lawrence also missed kicking rather than miss kicked a clearance during this period, but Pacey managed to foil the forward.
Late on Jamie Allsop came on and scored a beautiful free kick from about 25 yards out that curled nicely in to the top corner with what was his first kick of the game. Despite there being 10 minutes left on the clock and the referee adding on a lot of extra time again (about 9 minutes) Ely were unflappable and it was good to see them comfortably win and keep a clean sheet. It looks like I might have to wait until pre-season for my next fix of the Robins.