Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but today Ely put in the best performance I have seen at the Unwin and with the sun shining down it was a perfect day for watching football.
Ely started off brightly against Brantham, who at the start of the day were just above them in the league and went into the game with a decent striking record, but an equally poor defence. It looked like it was going to be Ely's day from the start when Andy Pettit put the ball in the back of the net on 5 minutes, although he was unfortunately off-side. Just 2 minutes later Josh Bridgeman was unlucky not to put the home side one up. Ely continued to pile on the pressure and on 26 minutes a corner from David Wilson on the left looked to be curling in and Richard Chadwick made sure that the ball went over the line to put the Robins in the lead.
Ely were clearly playing the better football, although on 34 minutes our hearts were in our mouths when a defensive error by Adam Dalby almost let the Brants in, but the defence recovered well to put an end to the attack. Brantham's mini revival was short lived however, as on 37 minutes Chadwick almost made it 2-0 from another Wilson corner. On 40 minutes Ely did get their second goal when Nick Impey, who was on impressive form, scored a beautiful goal after impressive team work had seen a Chadwick cross dummied by Wilson blasted into the back of the onion bag.
It looked like Brantham might get back into the game before half time with a couple of good chances, however Ben Lawrence and Adam Murray were more than up to the task in central defence and instead Josh Bridgeman made the most of the sleek passing in the Ely midfield to put the Robins 3-0 up on the stroke of half time.
Ely had clearly dominated the first half and at 3-0 up they were definitely in control, however Brantham came out firing on all cylinders and made a good start to the second half. However, their mini revival was short lived and Andy Pettit put the Robins 4-0 up on 54 minutes after following up from a strike by Josh Bridgeman. A couple of minutes later Brantham had a chance to pull one back, but their effort was offside and this appeared to be a blip as for the next 15 minutes Ely were passing the ball around like Brazil and were clearly cruising. Obviously, with an away game at Stanway on Wednesday night it was time to think ahead to the next game and Ely started to introduce a few substitutes. The result was that the Robins started to lose their shape a bit and on 70 minutes Ollie Mann, who else? Scored a conciliatory goal for the visitors.
Ely clearly weren't happy with just the 4 though and on 74 minutes a brilliant strike by Nick Impey was well saved by the Brantham keeper. The Brantham keeper was called upon again on 78 minutes when Sam Goodge, who was on as a substitute, was up-ended in the box and David Wilson stepped up to take the penalty. Ely haven't had a great record from the penalty spot this season, and hats off to Wilson for stepping up when all of the other candidates were busy looking at the ground. However, Ely's luck from the spot didn't change and the Brantham keeper, Ryan Bedingfield saved what was a bit of a weak shot.
The Robins managed to play out the last 10 minutes of the game and did well, although they were not as impressive as they had been for the first 70 minutes. A nice day at last for football this year and Ely's biggest home win and best performance of the season saw the team win 4-1.