Robins leave Essex with a point
11th league draw of the season
Ely travelled to Essex to face relegation threatened Wivenhoe and came away with a point from a below par performance against the battling home side.
Ely were dealt a blow before the game as top scorer Alex Theobald dropped out of the starting line up and match day squad with a hamstring injury aggravated in the warm up. Matty Simpson came in to the starting line up leaving just Liam Griffin and assistant manager Martin Grey on the bench.
Wivenhoe started the game the brighter of the two teams and generally had the ball in Ely's half but without causing too much threat. Ely were struggling to put any passes together. On 30 minutes Sam Reed was played through on goal and as he went to lift the ball over the onrushing home keeper it was handled outside of the area and the home keeper was shown a red card. Wivenhoe replaced a striker with their sub keeper as they went down to 10 men. The resulting free kick from Ash Walter hit the wall and was cleared. Wivenhoe still pushed forward with 10 and were creating some problems for the Ely defence. Sam Reed had a header near the end of the first half that was cleared by a defender. HT 0-0
Ely came out second half and had changed to 3-4-3 with Liam Griffin replacing the injured Daniel Jeffrey. The game continued to be scrappy with Wivenhoe slowing it down at every opportunity and looking to hit Ely on the break as the away side started to have more possession against the 10 men. Craig Neal had an effort from distance that went narrowly wide and chances were being created from set pieces without really testing the home reserve keeper. The deadlock was finally broken with 10 minutes to play. A long throw from substitute Martin Grey was not dealt with and headed back into the area by Grey with the ball falling to Tommy Williams who teed up Kelvin Enaro to smash home through a crowd of players. However the lead was short lived as from a corner the ball hit the unfortunate Lewis Hook and ended up in the Ely goal. With only minutes remaining Ely could of won it but Matty Simpson could not play in Ash Walter and the game finished 1-1.
Credit to Wivenhoe for a battling display with 10 men for 60 minutes. Not a great day for Ely as they dropped a place in the league to 13th.
Next up for the Robins, Newmarket at home on Easter Monday - 3pm kick off.