No Win at the Unwin
Ely deservedly take 3 points, as Bloaters leave it too late!
Ely City away wasn’t the most desirable of fixtures on the best of days but with a depleted squad and in sweltering conditions it’s fair to say the Bloaters did not live up to their away form this season at the Unwin Ground on Saturday. Prior to the game Yarmouth boasted the best defensive record away from home and had recently put in some excellent displays but in front of the vocal Ely faithful on a sun drenched and solid pitch it was clear it was not going to be Yarmouth’s day from quite early on. Without senior players Andersen, Ager, Forbes, Taylor and Holmes the visitors gave a surprising debut to 16 year old JOSH FORD
. Ford took his place in the back line at centre half with Doddington having to play out of position at right back, next to Howell at centre half and with Savage resuming at left back. The rest of the side lined up as they had finished in an impressive win against Wivenhoe.
Ely’s early dominance in the fixture lead to a deserved opening goal for their leading scorer Alex Theobald. He ran onto a header from an Ely midfielder and with Elvijs Putnins in Yarmouth’s goal scurrying out the nippy striker beat him to the ball. At first it looked like he had pushed the ball too wide but from an extraordinary angle on the touchline Theobald somehow curled his shot into the unguarded net. Yarmouth were slightly improved for the next ten minutes as they looked to get back in the game. Speculative shots from Davis and George failed to test the keeper from distance but from a knock down from a corner it looked like Perfect would equalise when unmarked in the box but he hit his shot into the ground, wide and to safety. The visitor’s short spell of possession was soon nullified when Ely extended their lead. Some good wing play resulted in a cross being pulled back for Theobald who’s run was untracked. His first time shot flew into the roof of the net as the dejected looking Bloaters sunk to their knees. Credit must go to the hosts for this early spell of attacking football which gave them a great foothold in the game in difficult conditions.
After the interval Applegate was soon replaced having picked up an injury to the base of his foot, Cruise Nydazayo was introduced and proceeded to have a good game as things were shuffled around slightly for the Bloaters. An improved half from the Bloaters was limited in the main to wasted corners, good defending from Ely and carelessness in approach play.
Ely threatened on the break to extend their lead but luckily for the visitors Putnins remained on guard to retain the two goal margin.
In the final stages of the game a flurry from Yarmouth having introduced both Barnard and Hunter created a mini scare for the home side. A shot from Olly Savage looked to be going in but it was deflected wide for a corner. On 89 minutes substitute Tom Hunter grabbed his first senior goal for the club with a very well placed header direct from a Swatman corner.
There was no further action of note as Ely did well to see the added time out without incident. Having suffered only their 4th away defeat all season afterwards the joint managers were philosophical in consideration of an outstanding debut performance from JOSH FORD
and a 1st goal for Tom Hunter which somewhat softened the blow of defeat ahead of an important game next Saturday at home to Stanway Rovers in the race for a top 6 finish.