When it gets to the middle of March you might expect a bit of rain and it might be a bit cold, but you don't expect it to be sub zero Antarctic weather. I've been to games in March that have been freezing in Ukraine and Russia, but really I was expecting the weather to be a bit better at this time of the season.
Anyhow, last night Ely took on Mildenhall in a fixture that is traditionally a bank holiday derby, but the fixtures meant a trip from Woodbridge on a Tuesday wouldn't be great for them so the bank holiday Monday fixture was swapped around.
Ely got off to a good enough start and put on most of the pressure in the first half, although Hall were quick on the counter attack and broke through the offside trap on several occasions. The visitors broke dangerously for the first real chance of the game in the 8th minute, but in this instance was caught offside. Ely were also causing problems in the opposite end and a power shot from Nick Impey in the 20th minute was deflected just wide by a Hall defender. Mildenhall also created a great chance to take the lead 4 minutes later when Pacey made a great save from a power shot on the edge of the box. The best move and chance of the opening fell to Ely though when on 39 minutes Impey did well to get the ball in a 50/50 challenge just inside the Mildenhall half. He put the ball on the left wing to Luke Parkinson who then provided a cross for Chris Sterecki who athletically attempted to put the ball in the net, only for it to be saved by Pope in the Mildenhall goal, who was providing a fine last line in defence, as he usually does. Just 3 minutes later Taz Chisonga was provided a great chance to put the Robins ahead, after another great cross from Luke Parkinson, but he somehow managed to steer the ball wide.
The half finished with Hall in the ascendancy and on 33 minutes Pacey was chipped after a clever through ball, but the shot just went wide. Another great through ball on 36 minutes saw Pacey beaten and most of the defence. However, Sam Parkinson managed to get back in time to clear the ball off the line. The teams went in at the break at 0-0, but despite the lack of goals it had been a good open half and a good advertisement for football at this level, which was probably just as well as apart from braving the cold we were missing a Messi master class against Milan on the box to be at the Unwin.
Mildenhall had obviously been scratching their heads on how to beat the Ely offside at the break as they came out and with their first attack took the lead. A great pass through was inch perfect and the centre forward was ready to pounce. Ely on the other hand seemed to think that their best chance was to grab a goal through an aerial attack. Luke Parkinson came close with a header on 51 minutes. A corner on 54 minutes was headed across the goal by Ben Lawrence and Adam Murray headed home for the equaliser. The home team almost took the lead just a couple of minutes later when another header, this time from David Wilson, was cleared off the line. Ely were made to pay though and just before the hour mark a fortunate bounce saw Mildenhall get through and an inch perfect cross from the right wing was again met by the centre forward to sweep home and give Hall the lead.
Ely then decided to throw everything into getting a winner and playing higher up meant that Mildenhall when they did break were offside. However, Sterecki had to clear the ball off the line on 70 minutes and he had the only chance to score at the other end with 10 minutes left. the game fizzled out and the visitors had the win. A draw would probably have been a fair result, but when you are struggling you don't get the breaks.