More woe for Robins as they lose on penalties in cup semi-final

10:18 05 March 2014

Ely City FC V Kirkley & Pakefield

Ely City FC V Kirkley & Pakefield

Archant

Football

Red Insure Cup

Ely City 1

Newmarket 1

(AET, Newmarket win 3-2 on penalties)

The Robins crashed out at the semi-final stage of the Red Insure Cup at the hands of local rivals Newmarket.

With nothing to separate the teams after extra time, the match went to spot-kicks and George Lawton saved two Ely efforts to put his side through to May’s final.

Player/manager Ben Lawrence said the defeat was tough on Ely, who deserved better from the game.

He said: “We didn’t deserve to lose. The draw was a fair result but when it comes down to penalties, unfortunately, anything can happen.

“We didn’t factor penalties into our plans before the game but we had seven lads who put themselves forward to take one and we had to make a choice between them.

“We soaked up a lot of pressure in the second half and I thought we were going to sneak the win but they scored in the last 10 minutes with a 20-yarder into the top corner. It was always going to take something special to break us down because we were excellent at the back. We restricted them all night.”

Ely took the lead through centre back Adam Murray, who stole a march on his marker to head home Lewis McDonald’s free-kick with just two minutes left of the half.

Newmarket ramped up the pressure in the second half but Ely were proving difficult to break down and it wasn’t until the 82nd minute that they were finally breached, Jake Higgs smashing home from outside the box.

With no goals in extra time, the match went to penalties and, despite two saves from captain Lee Pacey – including from former Robin Richard Chadwick – Ely lost out as they failed to make their efforts count.

The Robins came into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Kirkley and Pakefield in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

Ely are back in action again on Saturday when they travel to Diss Town and Lawrence believes they are capable of getting a result.

He said: “I think if we can pick ourselves up mentally from this disappointment, we can come away with a result. We’ve got to go there and be positive.”

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