Yesterday Ely City took on Walsham-le-Willows in what could have been a potential banana skin of a game. Ely are still in third and Walsham are in the bottom half of the league, however Walsham had just beaten the top two teams over Christmas and new investment in the club means that they could, like Ely be about to embark on an upward trajectory.
There was a new look at the Ely ground too as the hard winds of the week had seen the cover blown off the covered part of terracing, which in a way made for an improvement in the view from the main stand.
Ely's best bet was probably to take the game to Walsham and take it they did. Ely went ahead on the 2nd minute when Austen Diaper got a massive deflection and the ball went into the back of the Walsham net. Ely continued to press for more goals and Diaper and Chadwick continued to push for a second and Stuart Walker was controlling the game in the centre of the Robins midfield. On 27 minutes Ely could have easily been 2 up when Lewis McDonald hit the crossbar and one minute later a cross by Walker was met by Diaper that could have easily gone in but the keeper was equal to it and Chadwick was unable to steer the rebound in but did hit the woodwork. At the other end Walsham were trying to make progress, but Murray and Lawrence were keeping them at bay in the centre of defence.
Walsham's progress was short lived though and on 31 minutes Walker tried a clever lob on the Walsham keeper that nearly went in and a minute later Chris Sterecki turned and shot and was unlucky not to be on target. The rest of the half had the pattern of Ely dominating and creating chances and on 37 minutes Sam Parkinson was close and on 38 an Adam Murray header almost went in. However, somehow going into the break Ely were still only one up.
The second half however was a completely different kettle of fish. Walsham began to play themselves into the game finally and create some chances. Their best two chances in the first 15 minutes of the second half came from a couple of fumbles by Lee Pacey in the Ely goal, which fortunately he was able to recover from.
Pacey really made amends on 75 minutes when he made a brilliant save from point blank range, but it was to be a nervous last 15 minutes for Ely in a game that they deserved to have had already sewn up at half time.
Nevertheless Ely managed to keep them at bay and create a few chances of their own in the closing encounters, although Walsham came close in the last minute the game ended Ely 1 Walsham-le-Willows 0 in a game that was really a game of two halves.