Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ely City 1 Stanway Rovers 1

On Saturday it was Ely's last game of the season. They were already relegated and Stanway were in third with not a lot to play for either. The game was typical end of season fair. The weather was good, but the football was dull. Stanway struck early in the second half and late on a goalkeeping blunder gifted Ely an equaliser and that was about it.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ashdon Villa win a trophy

Yes that isn't a typo! Hopefully, a team with a similar name can get some silverware at the end of the season too!

I like the local cup finals that they have down at Ely City this time of year, unfortunately due to being away or bad advertising I've missed the others, so when I found out about the Creake Charity Shield Cup Final being down there I was interested, when I found out one of the teams was called Ashdon Villa I knew I had to be there.

The opponents were Cherry Hinton Reserves, who play in a division below Villa. From the start it was clear that Villa were the better side, but the Cherries had a fantastic defence and neither side had a real chance in the first half, although Villa dominated the play.

Unfortunately for Villa it was Cherry Hinton who took the lead on 52 minutes when a sliced clearance by a defender saw him put it in his own goal. Some justice was done 10 minutes later when the Cherry Hinton keeper thought a cross was going to hit the side netting, but instead it hit the post and rebounded out to a grateful Villa centre forward who hammered home the equaliser.

Villa continued to attack, but the Cherry Hinton defence were resolute and some of the crosses were a bit wayward and shots a bit weak. One of the Cambs FA officials said 'it had a draw written all over it', I couldn't disagree, but with the temperature falling and work the next day I was hoping it would be finished in normal time.

It wasn't and we headed into extra time and Villa continued their bombardment. On 100 minutes a great free kick was hammered home and just the other side of extra time Villa were awarded another free kick. This time an indirect free kick in the six yard box for a back pass. Pretty often these type of free kicks are wasted, but Ashdon made sure and the game finished 3-1 to Villa.

Creake Charity Shield Cup Final - Random Pictures

The programme

 Ashdon Villa kick off

An early chance for Ashdon Villa

Ely City Reserves 2 Royston Town A 3

Last Saturday the weather was decent, but the trains were a mess, so we decided to go and watch the reserves play Royston A in their last home game of the season.

The game got off to a decent start with Ely grabbing the lead on 6 minutes and Royston equalising on 8. The rest of the half saw a commited performance by both sides, although neither team seemed able to break the deadlock.

The second half was a bit less entertaining as Royston grabbed a second and then a third goal. Ely got a consolation with 10 minutes left and what a strike it was. However, Roystom ran out the winners in an entertaining enough affair.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ely City 1 Godmanchester Rovers 0

Last night bottom placed Ely took on second placed Godmanchester. After getting only their second home win against Felixstowe last time, and the only one I had seen this season, we were not that hopeful. Ely had given a good account of themselves at Godmanchester the week before drawing 0-0, but on paper they had a much stronger side, which included ex-Ely players Tom Meecham, Austin Diaper and Lewis McDonald.

It was clear from the start that Ely were hoping for a 0-0 as they stuck 10 players behind the ball and relied on some super saves from Craig Gailbraith in between the posts. It seemed inevitable that they would eventually get something and when Austin Diaper was fouled in the box    just before half time and Tom Meecham stepped up to take the penalty, it looked like Goddy were going to take the lead with a very Ely flavour. It wasn't to be though as Gailbraith guessed right and saved a penalty for the second game in a row.

The second half started in the same way as the first half had with Ely defending with some real spirit and Goddy over playing it a bit as they got more and more desperate for a goal. Their desperation finally was their own undoing though, as around the hour mark, Ed Richardson, who had been recruited from the reserves converted a corner with a header to give the Robins a surprise lead.

Godmanchester continued to press, but Ely dug in to get the points and frustrate the visitors.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Downham Town 5 Halstead Town 1

Yesterday we went up to Downham Market to see Downham Town play Halstead in the last home game for Downham of the season. At the start of the game the two teams were in 10th and 11th with the visitors having the slight advantage. If this was a chance for the teams to sit back and relax they clearly weren't showing it. 

The game set off at a blistering pace with both sides pressing. The home team though were clearly the ones with their bit between their teeth and started pummelling the Halstead goal.

An early chance for Downham Town

Downham were given their first break on 18 minutes when the winger was pulled down in the box and the centre forward put the ball in the back of the goal to make it 1-0.

Downham go 1-0 up from the penalty spot.

The only shock was that it took another 13 minutes for Downham to make it 2-0 when a cleverly worked passage of play saw the centre forward get his and Town's second.

Things weren't really going Halstead's way and even the decisions were going tags isn't them. Therefore, it didn't come as a surprise when on 35 minutes Downham made it 3-0 and the centre forward completed his hat trick.

If Halstead thought that Downham were going to take their foot off the pedal in the second half they were sadly wrong. On 47 minutes they made it 4-0. Halstead were thrown a lifeline on 53 minutes when they scored a terrific free kick which broke the net. The Downham players and fans were trying to claim it had gone through the side of the net, but the linesman and us were in a perfect position to see that it had gone in.

The match gets interrupted as the goal nets get fixed after Halstead's net bursting free kick.

After this it was all Halstead as they tried to play themselves back into the game, but it was all in vain, as Downham got a fifth in stoppage time as the leaped over their visitors in the table.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Under 18s - Burton Albion 2 Ilkeston 3

In Wednesday we went to see Burton Albion's under 18 team take on their counterparts from Ilkeston. In the first half Burton played well and took a two goal lead without having that many chances.

A draw would have probably have been a fair result, but Ilkeston did one better and got a winner to take the game 3-2 in a hard fought contest at Hillsfield in Rocester.

The terrace at Rocester FC.

The kids in the main stand at the ground.

The Ilkeston defence clear a Burton attack.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Ely City get a win!

Well, it's been a long time coming and the Robins are pretty much already relegated, but a spirited performance yesterday hopefully hinted a brighter future for next season.

Ely were looking further depleted with Histon recalling their three loanees from the Unwin Ground. Coupled with this Ely went into the game rock bottom and the away team, Felixstowe and Walton were fourth at the start of play.

Ely started the game off in battling form and had Felixstowe pinned in their own half for long periods. They finally made the breakthrough when Sam Goodge scored from a free kick on 30 minutes. Ely doubled their lead on 38 minutes through Ben Green and went in 2-0 up at the break.

The second half saw the Seasiders attacking more, but Ely stood firm in defence and looked dangerous on the counter attack. Ely were also unlucky not to increase their lead, but a man of the match performance by Felixstowe keeper , Rhys Barber meant they had to settle for a 2-0 win.

It's been a long time coming, but it was great to see them finally get a win.

A view of the cathedral through the goal posts in the first half.

The Robins sent some good corners in that Rhys Barber had to deal with in the first half, this wasn't one of them.