Monday, August 31, 2015

Aston Villa v Sunderland player ratings

Brad Guzan - 6 - wasn't that busy and couldn't do too much about the Sunderland goals. His distribution as always was pretty awful though.

Alan Hutton - 6 -I am not a big fan of Hutton, but he got forward and provided crosses and defended well when needed.

Jordan Amavi - 7 - this guy is something special. Defended well, terrorised the defence and set up Sinclair for his second.

Ciaran Clark - 5 - didn't always clear his lines and wasn't that inspiring.

Micah Richards - 5- ball watching in defence and to keen to go forward without giving anything up front when he did.

Carlos Sanchez -9 - a brilliant performance. He seems to be finally living up to his reputation in Colombia.

Ashley Westwood - 6- has bags of ability and showed some great ability, but he needs to go forwards as well as sideways, especially against clubs like Sunderland.

Leandro Bacuna - 5 - did a lot of running, but more in the headless chicken rather than in a good way. Was subbed for Carles Gil.

Idrisse Gana -8- another player with a big future, must have been disappointed that  other players didn't make the most of what he provided.

Scott Sinclair - 8- thankfully somebody seems to be willing to score some goals.

Rudy Gestede -5- showed some good touches, but looked like what he is basically a poor man's Benteke. He really needs to step up.

Carles Gi - 7- came on for Bacuna, provided a fresh impetus and surely has to start against Leicester.

Aston Villa 2 Sunderland 2

On Saturday we went to Villa to see Villa take on Sunderland. Hopefully, it's too early to call this a must win game as Villa did everything but win it. The statistics show that Villa dominated, but despite having a collection of decent players aren't quite a team yet.

The game got off to a frantic start, but Villa went behind to a superb free kick by M'Vila. Sunderland's lead was short lived though as on 11 minutes, just 3 after the visitors took the lead Scott Sinclair was fouled and took the resulting penalty to restore parity. After this it was an onslaught by Villa with Amavi and Gana creating a spark in midfield with Sanchez also passing the ball around well. Unfortunately, despite his aerial presence Gestede didn't seem to be able to get on the end of anything and you can't help but think that with Benteke it would have been a different story. Not that big Rudy is completely to blame, if some of the other players had looked for a shot instead of a pass ( you know who Mr. Westwood) it could have been a different story. Villa did restore their lead though just before half time when Scott Sinclair slotted in a second after some wonderful work down the left by Jordan Amavi. 

Unfortunately, Villa got off to a sluggish start and Jeremy Lens punished some ball watching by the defence with an equaliser. Villa continued to dominate after this, but they continued in the same vane as the first half with chances not being converted. Carles Gil had a good chance of being awarded a penalty but the ref didn't agree and gave Carles a card for his troubles. 

The match ended 2-2. Villa should have won, but it seems Gestede isn't quite Benteke and if Sherwood isn't going to give Kozak a chance he needs to get a new forward before the window sls shut.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

King's Lynn Reserves 2 Stowmarket 2

The day after the Ely game we were back at the football and back in the Eastern Counties League Division 1 as King's Lynn reserves took on Stowmarket.

It was a really entertaining game and couldn't have got off to a better start when Simon Bird put the home side ahead on 4 minutes. Both teams were keen to attack and there could have easily been more goals when Jack Frohawk doubled the Linnets' lead on 23 minutes. Stowmarket were keen to get back into the game by fair means or foul and a brilliant counter attack by Matt Dylon led to Josh Cheetham converting to make it 2-1 at the break.

The second half was equally frantic and at times bad tempered, but chances were fewer and further between. On 70 minutes a wonder strike by Wayne Proctor gave the visitors an equaliser. The game finished 2-2. It was probably a fair score, although the Linnets may have regretted not putting all their early chances away

Ely City 3 Downham Town 0

Friday night saw a bumper crowd at the Unwin as Ely took on local rivals Downham Town to try and get off the mark in the league.

It was a nervy start for early and Downham looked the most likely to score in the 25 minutes. The first real chance fell to Ely though when Alex Theobold seemed to have put the home side ahead on the half hour mark. Theobold seemed to have headed the ball over the line, but the officials didn't agree and the game stayed at 0-0. A few minutes later Ely seemed to have been wrongly done by the officials again when Jack Saunders was fouled in the box. However, a free kick was awarded and Ely failed to convert. Some justice was done in the last minute of the half though when Theobold scored from a header to put the Robins in the lead.

At 1-0 Ely still looked vulnerable and Downham took the game by the throat. They were unable to find a breakthrough though and Craig Neal scored another to put Ely 2-0 up, a bit against the run of play. Ely settled though and when Theobold was fouled in the box he got up to convert the penalty to give Ely what was in the end a comfortable 3-0 victory.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ely City 0 Holbeach United 4

Well, Ely's run in the cup came to an end in the replay against Holbeach on Tuesday. Holbeach had expected to thrash Ely on Saturday, but they saved it until Tuesday. There's not much point dwelling on what was a pretty poor performance by Ely. Let's just hope they can put up a better performance against Downham on Friday.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Holbeach United 1 Ely City 1

On Saturday Ely travelled to Holbeach for the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup. We went up there with little expectation of an Ely win as they took on one of the better and bigger clubs in the United Counties League.

In the opening 15 minutes it looked like the Robins were going to get mauled by the Tigers and that our worst fears would be met. However, instead of playing football Holbeach seemed to want to mix things up with a physical approach and this was one area where a Ely could match them. On about the half an hour mark Ely scored against the run of play when Saberton scored after a free kick was rebounded of the wall. Ely held on until half-time much to the chagrin of their hosts.

In the second half the hosts continued to press and the woodwork and Gailbraith in goals for Ely kept them at bay, not that they didn't create any chances themselves and had a couple of chances to nick a decisive second. Unfortunately, Ely couldn't hold on and Holbeach managed an equaliser despite having a player sent off when tempers boiled over.

It was unfortunate Ely couldn't hold on, but at least we have a replay to look forward to on Tuesday.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Photos from Holbeach United

Yesterday we saw Holbeach United take on Ely City on the Extra Preliminary around of the FA Cup. Here are a few pictures of their Carters Park ground.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ely City 1 King's Lynn Reserves 3

Last night Ely belatedly kicked off their season against King's Lynn Reserves in Division 1 in the Eastern Counties League Division 1.

In preseason Ely had looked good, but taking on a team who already had a 6-0 win under their belt after beating Team Bury in their opening fixture on Saturday.

The game was played at a frantic pace which differed greatly from the preseason games and the speed meant that Ely were getting beaten to the ball and most of the passes in the opening encounters for the home team left a lot to be desired. By the break the Robins were 2-0 down after some poor defending on the right hand side led to Lynn capitalising with a well taken goal. An absolute peach of a free kick saw the visitors double their lead.

Ely pressed more in the second half as Lynn started to take their foot off the pedal a bit and they pulled one back from a bullet header from James Seymour after a corner. Lynn woke up again though and put the game to bed with a third goal.

It wasn't a bad performance by Ely, but they need to get up to speed yet and they looked better after David Wilson and Paul Summerskill were introduced.