AFC Sudbury Reserves 2-3 Ely City: Saunders strike seals a narrow victory for The Robins

Ely's Jack Saunders bagged the winner on Saturday

Ely's Jack Saunders bagged the winner on Saturday - Credit: Archant

Ely City returned to league action - and winning ways - with a well deserved 3-2 victory away at AFC Sudbury reserves on Saturday.

Ely City returned to league action - and winning ways - with a well deserved 3-2 victory away at AFC Sudbury reserves on Saturday.

The Robins, who were playing their first ever match on a 3G pitch, started well and were in front after just three minutes when Matt Simpson picked the ball up and travelled before shooting from 25 yards to find the bottom corner via a slight deflection.

Ely controlled the game and could have doubled their lead when Alex Theobald crossed to Sam Goodge, but the striker could only direct his effort wide of goal. A minute later, the away side won a corner and Goodge headed towards goal, but Sudbury’s Toby Mitchell headed the ball away.

Then on 20 minutes Sudbury levelled when Sudbury winger Ross Henry scored a stunning 30 yard lob, leaving Craig Galbraith in the Ely goal with no chance. Sudbury were buoyed by their leveller and went 2-1 up when Charlie Gilbert struck home past Galbraith on the half hour mark. Ely responded well to going behind and Liam Griffin found himself through on goal but the Sudbury keeper saved.

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Ely continued to create chances as Sam Goodge headed straight at the keeper from a Craig Neal cross, and Ely were soon level three minutes before half time when Ash Walter picked out Craig Neal in the box who set up the on rushing James Seymour to finish coolly past the keeper.

The second half was a cagey affair with Ely continuing to create chances and the Robins thought they were ahead after Spencer Saberton had the ball in the net following a cross into the box from Jamie Alsop but the effort was ruled out for offside. Matt Simpson hit the bar from a tight angle on the right and Alex Theobald could not pick out Craig Neal after being played through as Ely searched for a third goal. Josh Sewell came closest to finding it when found himself in front of goal following another set piece but he was denied by the woodwork. Jack Saunders shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area and Matty Simpson saw an effort hit the side netting as Ely continued to press, and the away side’s pressure finally paid as Ely got the winning goal in the 82nd minute through Jack Saunders.

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A neat passage of play found James Seymour who played in Saunders, who calmly finished past the keeper, much to the delight of the Ely players and fans. Ely saw out the remaining minutes and Sam Goodge nearly scored a fourth for Ely but his shot hit the side netting.

The win comes as sweet relief for Ely, who had not won since the 19th of September, and the Robins’ next fixture is away at Fakenham in the League Cup on Wednesday night.

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