Monday, December 31, 2012

Highs and lows of games in 2012

The year started off with an Ely victory at home to Mildenhall on 2nd of January in fact Ely continued their good form and I also saw them beat Walsham-le Willows. The only defeat that I witnessed was when Peterborough were convincingly beaten by Portsmouth, who themselves were on the verge of imploding.

The bad weather continued in February, although it did improve towards the end of the month and if Ely's 3-0 win over Felixstowe and Walton was convincing enough, I was in for a real treat when I saw the biggest win that I have ever seen when Thetford beat Cornard 10-0. It could have been far worse for the visiting team as Thetford were on electric form and were 5-0 up within 20 minutes.

March was a bumper month of mixed fortunes. It started with Ely beating a sorry Great Yarmouth team 2-0 at home before suffering a rare home defeat against fellow title contenders and eventual champions, Wroxham. Ely then faced Yarmouth again, but this time away. Ely won the game 4-2, but some ridiculous refereeing saws Pacey and Chadders sent off and Diaper having to play most of the game in goals. The Robins picked themselves up to beat Royston in the Semi Finals of the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup. However, the suspensions would eventually play their part on Ely coming second instead of first in the league. One life line that we witnessed was when Wroxham went 1-0 down at CRC.

The effects of the poor refereeing and ensuing suspensions were there for all to see when the Robins started off April with a defeat to Stanway. We followed this up by seeing Peterborough lose 1-0 to Forest, who after being in a relegation position for most of the season pull clear of the pack. Then came the footballing highlight of the year. Ely took on local rivals Soham Town Rangers in the final of the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup, a great performance by the team, a man of the match performance by Chris Strecki and an extra time winner by Adam Murray saw the Robins win 3-2 and take the trophy home. There was also some unfinished business left, and things went well for both Ely and Thetford, but perhaps not as spectacularly as we would have liked. We saw Thetford secure promotion with a 3-1 win over Long Melford, which was enough to secure promotion, but not enough to win the league, which went to Godmanchester. Ely beat Norwich United on the final day of the season, which secured them second place in a spectacular season.

The only game in May we went to was Stevenage against Bury. Stevenage ran out 3-0 winners and secured themselves a place in the play-offs, but it was a bridge too far this time for Boro.

The period for friendly games started off with a fixture which can't be considered very friendly in anybody's book when King's Lynn took on Wisbech Town. There was a huge crowd at the Walks and an experimental Lynn team went down 4-1 to Wisbech who even then looked like they were going to have an impact in the Eastern Counties this season. Meanwhile at the Unwin, Ely were finding out in the friendlies that it was probably best not to tinker with a successful team. The new signings weren't really gelling and a draw with Huntingdon was followed by defeats to Deeping Rangers and Histon.

The the month started off with Villa beating Posh in a friendly at London Road and not long after the competitive football was underway. Ely started the season with a draw at home to Kirkley & Pakefield. They then totally destroyed Rothwell Corinthians 7-1 in the FA Cup, which was marked by a terrific goal, as part of a hat-trick by Richard Gammon. Unfortunately things weren't going so well in the league as they followed this up with a home defeat against newly promoted Godmanchester Rovers. The month finished with a bizarre situation at the Abbey when the match between CRC and Mildenhall was abandoned due to torrential rain. Oh, yes the good old British Summer struck again. The next day the sun was out so I decided to go to Cambridge Women v Crystal Palace Women. It wasn't a great game and Cambridge won comfortably, 3-0 after being gifted goals by the Palace Keeper who wasn't getting much leverage on her goal kicks. After the fine win against Rothwell, Ely crashed out of the cup losing in a replay at the Unwin to lowly Bugbrooke St.Michael's.

September was another match filled month, and Ely began to find a little bit of form. In the home games in the league that I went to they beat a poor Wivenhoe 4-1, a strong Gorleston 2-0 and blotted their copy book by losing to Brantham. In the league cup the Robins comfortably saw off Downham Town with a 5-0 win. The other games that I went to were Cambridge Women 2 Norwich City Women 3 and Peterborough disastrous start to the season continuing with a 2-0 defeat at home to Wolves.

October was one of those months where I took on too much work and only managed to get to one game. The game was Sean's birthday trip to Villa and like last year the game was marred by a Villa sending off. Joe Bennett can't have too many complaints and Villa did well to hang on for a draw after Christian Benteke had put the Villa ahead.

We started off November with a trip to the Walks and an exciting encounter saw King's Lynn defeat Halesowen in the last minute to win 3-2. Ely City recorded a league win against CRC and then in the 2nd Round of the Vase we went to Hatfield where the Robins won 7-3.

The weather got the better of most of the majority of fixtures in December. We had been looking forward to a trip with Ely to Bethnal Green in the Vase, but for an unexplained reason the game was called off. They played it when the weather was worse a week later, but I couldn't go. However, Ely won and have set up a mouth watering tie against Spalding in the next round. The only game I got to was a decent match in Mildenhall where Ely came away with a respectable point against a team who wee top of the league.

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