Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Ely City 1
Spalding United 2
A QUICK-FIRE brace from Gary King ended Ely City’s march to Wembley as the Robins crashed out of the FA Vase on Tuesday night.
The twice-rescheduled match started well for Alan Alsop’s men as they moved into the lead with just 10 minutes gone but a double strike inside three minutes for Spalding’s King turned the game on its head and consigned City to defeat.
The visitors, who play their trade in the United Counties League Premier Division, will now go on to face Guernsey in the last 16 of the lucrative competition.
Striker Austen Diaper gave the hosts real hope of an upset after putting them in front with a neat finish after 10 minutes, having gone close to opening the scoring moments earlier.
As the half progressed however, United began to grow into the game and captain Lee Pacey did well to palm away TJ Nightingale’s far post header just shy of the 19-minute mark.
The growing pressure was finally brought to bear in the 30th minute when former Notts County and Mansfield Town star Lee Canoville was felled in the box, resulting in a penalty. King made no mistake and duly converted.
The momentum continued to build in the aftermath of the equaliser and United were soon in front, King collecting a ball from deep to race through on goal and clip past Pacey just three minutes after his first.
The prolific Andrew Claydon could have put Ely back on terms in the dying minutes of the half but angled his shot wide when through on the Spalding goal.
Claydon was on target again in the second half in a rare chance for Ely but a strong save from the visitor’s goalkeeper saw his effort parried to safety.
In a desperate last 10 minutes, Diaper almost bagged his second of the game only to see his effort from close range hacked clear from in front of goal.