City kick start campaign with Hadley win

ELY City kick-started their pre-season campaign with a tidy 2-1 win over Hadley on Saturday.

ELY City kick-started their pre-season campaign with a tidy 2-1 win over Hadley on Saturday.

The Robins were left reeling after a 2-0 reverse at home to Biggleswade last Saturday but showed some of the form that helped them to a top-10 finish last season as they outclassed their gusty opponents with two first half strikes.

Ely’s opponents, Spartan Midlands League side Hadley, started the game brightly and did enough to contain Ely in midfield without posing too many problems going forward.

It was Ely who would eventually grasp the nettle and they were very nearly a goal to the good after 15 minutes as Grant Robbins exploited a gap at the heart of the Hadley defence to stride through on goal. Some competent work from the Hadley centre back ensured Grant was forced wide however, and his shot across goal slipped inches wide of the post.

The home side did eventually take the lead on the half-hour mark as front-man Mark Johnson found space on the wing to cross high for Robbins who showed his classy by volleying home from 10 yards.

Though Hadley hit back at Ely with some pacey breaks, the Robins managed to extend their lead minutes short of half-time as Robbie Mason headed home a Simon Warren cross.

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After the break, Ely made a host of substitutions and eased off the pace as Hadley looked for a way back into the match.

The visitors eventually netted an arguably deserved consolation with 75 minutes gone as the ball was cut back from the byline to the feet of a well-placed striker who made no mistake from six yards.

Ely’s next test will come in the shape of Ridgeon’s First Divsion side Stowmarket Town who visit the Unwin Ground on Saturday. They will then prepare for the visit of Soham Town Rangers on August 3 in the Doug Unwin Cup. The annual curtain raiser will take place at the Unwin Ground from 7.45pm with all proceeds being donated to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.