Sunday, November 3, 2013
Thetford Town 2 Ely City 3 - Something to cheer about at last
It's been tough following Ely City recently, so much so I put a tweet out yesterday to try and get some opinion on if I should go to Thetford V Ely; King's Lynn v Ashton or Soham v Chorley. King's Lynn was my first choice, but I found out that Sean's gang were all going up to Thetford, so that made the decision for me. On the face of it, it was the least appealing game and I always feel a bit conflicted when I go up there, as they were a team that I frequently watched before they got promotion to the same division as Ely and then had home games on the same week. Both teams are also languishing towards the bottom of the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, so I went there somewhat less than optimistic. That said, Ely had just come off a fine 4-2 win over Saffron Walden in the League Cup, which had been inspired by Tom Meecham, who is on (unfortunately only) a 1 month loan from St.Ives.
The first half was a bit of a scrappy affair and the ball was bobbling about on what appeared to be a strangely fast playing surface. Sean O'Donnell was commanding things in the centre of the park and Bruno Tavares and Matt Dixon were creating chances for the home team, although Kenny Smith was playing well for Ely to keep them at bay in the centre of defence. It was all end to end stuff in the first 45 minutes and for the visitors Josh Townsend and Tom Meecham were making most of the running and Adam Murray, who is really growing in to the centre forward role was causing the home side all sort of problems. Nevertheless neither of the teams was able to break down the other and they went into the break at 0-0. One negative thing that came from the first half was a nasty looking injury to Ely's Lewis McDonald, who had to be stretchered off after going for what can only be described as a hospital pass. It looked like a nasty hamstring injury, but hopefully he won't be out for too long.
The second half continued in much the same way as the first half had been played out, but it was Ely who made the breakthrough. A Kenny Smith shot from distance beat Matt Baker in Thetford's goal and Adam Murray made sure it went over the line to put them into the lead. As usual though Ely didn't keep hold of the lead for long and just two minutes later some trickery in the box by Bruno Tavares led to Matt Dixon levelling things up for the home team.
For once though Ely didn't let their heads drop and on 66 minutes another rocket by Kenny Smith was fumbled by Barker and Meecham was there to stab it home and increase the lead of the visitors. On 78 minutes Meecham made it look all too easy and scored again after sustained Ely pressure to make it 3-1. Ely were now cruising, but a last minute Penalty that was converted by Dixon made it 3-2 and set up a nervous stoppage time that fortunately Ely were able to deal with.