Tuesday night Ely took on Champions elect Dereham Town and with the retirement of Nick Impey and several key injuries it looked like Ely might struggle.
Ely had the first chance though when Chadwick came close on 5 minutes, but Dereham looked particularly effective down the left wing.
The equilibrium and balance of the game was about to change though when a minute later there was an altercation between Coe and a Dereham player, which led to both of them seeing red. If that wasn't bad enough something happened in the tunnel between the two players and one of the Dereham players charged down there. This resulted in a 22 man brawl. The referee went off in a huff and it looked like the game might be abandoned. They managed to sort out their differences though and 20 minutes later they were back on the pitch.
The referee was clearly not going to take any more and when Ben Lawrence went in with a strong tackle he also picked up a booking. The result was that the sting was completely taken out of the game. There were a few chances for Ely though. On 33 minutes Chadwick broke through the Dereham defence only to see his shot saved. On 37 minutes Murray came close with a header after Pacey had punted the ball up field. Just 4 minutes later he Murray did head home to put the Robins in the lead. This time from a Luke Parkinson corner. So Ely went into the break with the lead in what, after the sendings off, had been a very lacklustre half.
The second half was a lot more spirited though. In the opening encounters Dereham hit the post and Claydon came close for the hosts. On 57 Dereham got back in the game when they equalised also through a headed corner. On 76 minutes Dereham found the winner when Ely who were rightly worried about the referee and his card waving got scared of tackling in the box and allowed a Dereham attacker through.