Road to recovery begins with battling draw at Mildenhall
PUBLISHED: 10:13 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:13 26 February 2014
Ely City 1
A new era at Ely City began with an encouraging draw at play-off hopefuls Mildenhall on Tuesday night.
Club stalwarts Brady Stone and Ben Lawrence were given less than a week to prepare for the match following the resignation of Alan Alsop but the duo were encouraged by a gusty performance from the Robins, which could go someway to see them beat the drop.
Lawrence, who also played at centre back, said: “It was exactly what we wanted, all the lads performed really well.
“We said to the team before the match that we wanted to be hard to beat and that we wanted to get the football down and start playing and I think we did that.
“It is important that everybody starts enjoying their football again because there is nothing worse than when you go out there with the wrong attitude.”
In a fast-paced start to the match, it was Ely who came closest to scoring as Austen Diaper fired wide after latching on to a through ball from James Seymour.
And Lawrence himself came close shortly before the half-hour mark but could only divert the ball wide when a flick-on from a corner arrived in front of him.
Despite their good start, things took a turn for the worse for Ely early in the second half when the hosts took the lead, Craig Nurse curling home a free-kick from the edge of the area.
Ely were down, but certainly not out, and forced their way back into the game on the break as the pacey Josh Townsend collected a ball cleared from a corner and raced away from the Mildenhall defence, lobbing home from outside the box.
The point keeps Ely in 18th place, and in the bottom three, but breaks a run of four straight league defeats.
In order to beat the drop, Lawrence predicts his Robins side will need at least another three wins from their last 11 league games.
He said: “The Unwin Ground used to be a fortress, people used to hate coming to play here but this season it’s been tough. We want to get this monkey off our back that we can’t win at home.
“We’ve got Kirkley coming this weekend and I think it’s one of the games we are going to have to target if we want to stay up.
“It’s difficult to say how many wins we will need because we don’t know how many teams will go down but I think if we have 11 games left, we would need to win at least three of them.”