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.