Gallery: Ely City aid their promotion hopes by beating championship rivals
HOPES of a late push for promotion from Ely City continued to gather momentum after they scored a battling 2-1 win over fellow championship contenders Louth. After a nervous start to their first season at regional level, Ely have shown an unwavering deter
HOPES of a late push for promotion from Ely City continued to gather momentum after they scored a battling 2-1 win over fellow championship contenders Louth.
After a nervous start to their first season at regional level, Ely have shown an unwavering determination to grind out results and scored a significant win on Saturday over a resilient Louth side.
The win moves Ely into third place in Division 2NW, with a testing encounter against second-placed Pelicans next up.
The opening forays of the match were a somewhat circumspect affair as the respective attacks sought to test and probe their counterparts.
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A crucial game for both sides in the push for promotion, it wasn't until the 15th minute mark that the first real opportunity came when a fearsome shot from Chanre Bond clattered against a post with the goalkeeper stranded.
The fleeting sight at goal spurred both sides into life and play soon opened up as increasing numbers were committed to the attack.
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With nine wins from 14 matches, Louth have proved a solid proposition this season and their resilient defence made life difficult for Ely with a clear strategy designed to allow the hosts no room in the centre of the pitch.
The deadlock was finally broken early in the second-half as good interplay between Gemma Voutt and Bond afforded the latter space enough to fire home from inside the D.
Keen to cement their advantage, Ely pushed on and might have moved two goals ahead but for the intervention of the woodwork, which denied captain Hannah Scotney a goal after a powerful run and shot.
Despite a host of near misses, Ely finally doubled their lead after 65 minutes when Bond popped up at the back post to deflect home a powerfully delivered cross from the wing.
The second-goal roused Louth into life once more and they had a number of good chances of their own as the game progressed.
The visitors struck a post in the dying minutes and saw a number of flashing drives slip narrowly wide. A glimmer of hope emerged with a few minutes to spare as Louth forced home amid a goalmouth scramble, but they had left it too late and the Ely defence closed out the game.