Hockey

Ely City 2

Ford 5

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It may be the start a new year, but old habits die hard and there was little encouragement for struggling Ely on Saturday as they were well-beaten by Ford.

Ely took just one point from 12 matches in the first half of the 2013/14 season but went into Saturday’s match hopeful that it was going to be more productive start to 2014.

But fielding a new-look line up didn’t seem to change things for Stuart Parker’s side as within minutes of the start of the match, Ely conceded a goal.

And things didn’t improve inside the first 20 minutes as Ford, travelling up to the city from Ilford, added three more goals to their tally, all from penalty corners.

The Ely strikers had not seen much of the ball up to that point but, against the run of play, Sam Dunkley pulled a goal back for the hosts with a deft finish after 20 minutes.

Captain Parker, playing as a striker instead of his more normal position between the posts, also notched a score just before half-time to reduce the deficit to 4-2.

In the second half, Ely enjoyed a lot more possession and were able to create some notable opportunities. But good defending from the Ford centre back, who proved to be key in the battle between the two sides, frustrated the home side.

When Ford added a fifth penalty corner mid way through the half, it sealed the result and consigned Ely to a 12th defeat in 13 outings so far this season.

Ely’s only point this season remains from their 2-2 draw with Ipswich East-Suffolk, which came back in December, the team’s last game before the winter break.

Still in search of their first win, Ely will be back in action again at the Ely Outdoor Sports Association on Saturday. They take on West Herts, with push back at 1.30pm.

There was better news for Ely City II on Saturday, however, as they earned a point in a 0-0 draw with Cambridge City IV. Ely’s second string currently sit in ninth place in East League Division 3NW.

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