Bleak Christmas for Ely as they are hammered by Hadleigh

Ely City FC V Hadleigh

Ely City FC V Hadleigh - Credit: Archant

Football Ely City 0 Hadleigh United 5

Ely City FC V Hadleigh

Ely City FC V Hadleigh - Credit: Archant

There was no early Christmas present for Robins’ fans on Saturday as league leaders Hadleigh came away from the Unwin Ground with a thumping win.

Desperate defending and ruthless form in front of goal conspired to gift Hadleigh a comfortable win, while Ely barely managed a shot in anger as they were overawed by their high-flying opponents.

The defeat, Ely’s third on the bounce, leaves them mired in 18th place in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division and three points from safety. The Robins will be back in action again on Saturday when they travel to Godmanchester Rovers.

The opening goal for Hadleigh came with barely five minutes on the clock as the unmarked Kris Rose nodded home a corner. Goalkeeper Lee Pacey was adamant the ball did not cross the line but the linesman disagreed, and the goal was given.

Tes Bramble was denied at point-blank range by Pacey before, in the 22nd minute, he doubled Hadleigh’s lead as Ely’s defence woefully misjudged a lofted through ball, leaving Bramble with the simple task of looping a header over Pacey.

At 2-0 down, Ely finally began to enjoy longer spells of possession and were the better side for the last 10 minutes of the half, with winger Nelson Adeoti leading the charge down the right.

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For all their possession and intent, however, Ely failed to create a chance of substance as the half came to an end.

Instead of carrying their momentum over into the second half, Ely went 3-0 behind within a minute as a simple move left them exposed and Josh Mayhew mopped up from six yards out.

Ely battled gamely for the remainder of the half but tired legs and torrid conditions began to tell in the final 10 minutes as they conceded another two goals.

Kelsey Trotter netted the fourth from close range and Bramble completed the rout with seconds left, smashing low past Pacey.