The ice had finally disappeared and despite the wind Saturday got off to a bright enough start for the under 7's game I was required to go to. The unexpected good weather lasted until I left the house to get down for Ely v Felixstowe & Walton and then the skies opened up and I got soaked.
That wasn't the final deluge of the day though as Ely got off to a fine start despite not having kicked a ball for 3 days and it was raining shots on the Felixstowe goal. The first 20 minutes were a complete bombardment with Nick Impey and Luke Parkinson firing in the crosses and full backs Lewis McDonald and Sam Parkinson also joining in the fun. Adam Murray came close with a couple of headers from crosses and Nick Impey hit the bar with a cross/shot. Ely couldn't quite find the finishing touch despite it being more or less one way traffic.
The visitors first chance, and what was to prove to be their only real chance, came on 29 minutes when some bizarre head tennis amongst the Ely players nearly ended in an own goal. However, Jamie Greygoose standing in in goals for the suspended Lee Pacey finally got the ball and cleared it to Lee Parkinson who went down the other end left the final defender lying on the ground after an unfortunate slip on the now greasy pitch and shot.... wide.
Ely did finally get the breakthrough that they deserved on 38 minutes when Adam Murray found the back of the net with a header. I say deserved, but the F&W defenders were clearly expecting an offside flag and I missed who crossed the ball as I was looking for the flag to be raised. The first half finished 1-0 and even if there were some doubts about the legitimacy of the goal the Robins deserved to be home and at least metaphorically dry.
The second half started and the rain had abated and the sun was out. It seemed to have a relaxing influence on the players, although it could have been that Ely were happy to run out with a 1-0 win and the visitors really didn't look like getting back into the game or perhaps they were just a bit knackered after having such a long time off in the middle of the season.
Just after the hour mark though Ely brought on Austen Diaper and he really made a difference and helped put the result beyond doubt. On 68 minutes Diaper found his way through the Felixstowe defence slotted the ball across to Luke Parkinson and it was 2-0. Four minutes later and it could have been three, but Ely's lack of bottle from the spot (despite a penalty shoot out win in the last game they played) was confounded when Wilson and both of the Parkinsons refused to step up leaving it to Josh Bridgeman who didn't take his time and skied the ball well over the fence at the Cathedral End. It did end up 3-0 when on 79 minutes Diaper had a shot from a good 40 yards out and found the back of the net for goal of the season. His performance should have been enough to force him back into the starting line up next time and the result was enough to keep Ely in third hot on the heels of Brantham.