We went to Felixstowe expecting a good day out and as you can see from the previous posts we definitely had that. We didn't expect any result though. Felixstowe going into the game were second in the league, after other results went their way they are now top. Ely's season has been well documented as a bit of a disappointment on this blog.
We used to think that the blue away kit was cursed, but there is now a wide feeling that the claret home shirt that replaced the traditional red at the start of this season is cursed, so we for once were glad to see in Ely in the change strip of all blue. Ely also came into the game on the back of two wins, but are still threatened with relegation, and Felixstowe were always going to be a tougher test.
There was clearly a difference in styles with Felixstowe looking to play the ball around whereas the Robins went for a more direct approach. The direct approach seemed to be working though with the visitors starting off the stronger team. They started to bombard the Felixstowe goal and despite a good chance for the Seasiders to take the lead on 9 minutes, it was Adam Murray that gave Ely the lead with a bullet header just a minute later. The goal seemed to give the Robins the impetus and confidence they needed and for most of the half it was Ely attack after Ely attack. Porky Claydon clearly wanted to get a goal against his old club and Josh Townsend was supplying the balls for Austin Diaper and Porky to get on the end of. Danny Crump, despite getting a nasty bump in the opening minutes of the game though was in inspired form in goals for Felixstowe, so it remained 1-0 to the Robins at half-time.
In the second half it was a completely different matter though, Ely were constantly under attack and the defence as a whole and Lee Pacey in goals had to snuff out a sea of attacks by the Seasiders. It looked like the best the Robins could hope for was to hang on to the lead. On 63 minutes it was clear that Ely were really going to have to battle to hang on to the lead when Josh Townsend was sent off for a second bookable offence. He kicked the ball away after conceding a free kick and was shown his second yellow. A bit of consistency would have been appreciated here though, as Felixstowe players went unpunished for the same offence on two separate occasions. It was also a pity, as Josh had been man of the match in the first half and his pace may have seen Ely able to hit Felixstowe on the counterattack if he had remained on the pitch.
With 20 minutes remaining Ely had a free kick in a decent position, but McDonald fired wide. It seemed like the Robins were just glad to have the ball out of their own half for a few minutes though. Five minutes later and Felixstowe final broke down fortress Ely
when Rhys Barber got the ball in under Pacey after a fine cross from the left wing.
It was really backs against the wall stuff for the last 20 minutes, that with stoppages was more like 30 and felt more like an hour, but Ely held on to cap off a good all round performance and go back home with a vital point. It really was a draw that felt more like a win.
The team sheet from the game.
Some match action
Ely on the attack in the first half.