Last night Ely took on Huntingdon in their first pre-season game ahead of the new season. The good news is that the Robins seem to have been able to keep the players who formed the successful team of last season and there were a couple of new players who if they sign on will give the club more options.
Things didn't get off to a good start though and Huntingdon beat a poorly executed offside trap after only 5 minutes to take the lead. That didn't last too long though, as just a minute later a great pass from Nick Impey put Luke Parkinson clear on goal and the teams were back on level terms.
One of the areas where Ely could perhaps have been better last season was in front of goal, as despite finishing second they had a goal scoring ratio that would have been more suitable for a mid-table club. Last night they had a forward on trial from Norwich United and Richard Gammon, who looked a lot more lively than when he was given a chance up front last season, starting in the forward positions, but the problems still continued in front of goal.
After the first goal Ely really started to pressure Huntingdon with Luke Parkinson coming close again on 15 and Adam Murray testing the keeper with a glancing header on 22. Gammon and Norwich guy also saw plenty of the ball, but both of them seemed to lack the killer finish. Ely finally took the lead which they deserved when David Wilson scored after a shot was put in by the Norwich loanee. He could have scored for himself just 4 minutes later after beating the offside trap, but a tame shot didn't trouble the keeper.
Before the break Ely had several more chances, the best being a shot by Impey on 37 minutes, which was cleared off the line and a couple of tame shots from Gammon and the new guy could have also done more to worry their opponents. Huntingdon also had a chance on the stroke of half time when last season's player of the year Ben Lawrence sliced the ball and it almost bounced into the goal, but the half finished with the Robin's 2-1 up.
As is often the case in these friendlies Ely made several changes at half time most noticeably in defence and the changes obviously upset the balance of the team. On 51 Huntingdon were gifted a chance and got back on level terms. After this Ely found their feet again and continued to create chances. Austin Diaper who came on for Richard Gammon came close on 57 and Luke Parkinson hit the bar on 62. MacDonald should have scored on 72 after scuffing a rebound from a point blank header, but it didn't look like it was going to be the Robins' night. There was still time for them to have a decent handball appeal turned down on 82 and for Taz to go on one of his mazy runs and hit the crossbar on 84, but there were no more goals and the game finished 2-2. Let's hope that the chances will start to go in soon, and it's probably best to get this sort of bad luck out of the way before the proper games start on 4th August.