Ely City face mixed results in East Region League openers

Ely City Hockey Club endured mixed starts to both their mens and ladies East Region League campaigns

Ely City Hockey Club endured mixed starts to both their mens and ladies East Region League campaigns. Picture: SIMON WEBB AND MICHAEL BENNETT - Credit: Archant

It was a mixed run of results for Ely City Hockey Club as their teams began the new East Region League season on Saturday, September 26.

Ely men’s 1sts secured a 3-3 draw with Cambridge Nomads 2nds in Division Four North West, despite the visitors taking a two-goal lead inside 10 first-half minutes.

Newcomer Joe Clarke scored a well-earned goal from the right-wing for Ely, before Reece Laffar equalised on debut.

Nomads led again after the break as Ely pressed for a leveller, and salvaged a point from a well-worked short corner.

Ely captain Tim Reynolds said there is “lots to work on at training, but it’s a well-deserved point.”

The 1sts host Wellingborough 1sts at Downham Road on Saturday, October 3 (1pm).

Several missed chances proved costly for the 2nds as they lost 1-0 at home to Kettering 4ths in Division Six North West (South).

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Windy conditions were no match for the hosts as they started the match with nine players and no goalkeeper as they were travelling back from playing in Cambridge.

Ely started strongly, but two short corners moments before half-time saw the visitors take the lead, which led to a battling response from captain Chris Reay’s men.

Reay said: “I saw lots of positives in the match and lots of things to work on, and if we can crack those, we will have a winning formula for this season.”

Player of the match was Ziggy Poli and muppet of the match was Chris Reay.

Ely 2nds visit St Neots 4ths this Saturday (4pm).

An Annabelle Gilbert strike was not enough to earn victory for Ely 1sts in their 1-1 deadlock with Spalding 2nds in Division Three North West of the Women’s League.

The visitors looked strong early on and got their reward as Gilbert finished a neat move, before Spalding levelled from a short corner just before the break.

Despite Ely’s best efforts, the hosts stood strong as neither team could find a winner.

Captain Rachel Carpenter said it was “a positive start to the season with plenty of potential to improve!”

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Player of the match was Ella Pickles and muppet of the match was Ali Woods. Ely 1sts host Cambridge Nomads 1sts on Saturday (11am).

Meanwhile, it was a different story for Ely 2nds following a 6-0 defeat to Haverhill 1sts in Division Four North West (South).

Ely were unable to find a way through Haverhill’s defence despite a brave first-half display as the visitors netted three times.

A motivating speech from Karen Covey may have lifted Ely’s spirits, but not the result as the visitors scored three more without reply, as the hosts never gave up in search of a goal.

Player Gemma Bridges said: “Everyone felt it was a good match with lots of strong play to suggest a successful season ahead.”

Ely 2nds travel to Cambridge Nomads 2nds on Saturday (10am).

A formidable performance from the visitors saw Ely 3rds lose 3-0 at home to St Neots 4ths in Division Five North West (South).

Ely showed promising signs in attack but conceded just before half-time, although the hosts were always up for the challenge.

However, two strong hits found a way through twice more as St Neots earned the victory. Captain Lisa Taylor said: “I am incredibly proud of our performance today.”

Players of the match were Lottie and Isi. Ely 3rds visit Wisbech Town 3rds on Saturday (3.30pm).

Ely men’s thirds prepared for their league opener on Saturday, October 3 with St Neots 3rds (3pm) with a 3-2 friendly win over Cambridge South 6ths.

Ely took advantage of Cambridge’s goalkeeper absence with two goals for Lucio Poli and Cameron Ludlow, before striking back twice before the break.

A wave of attacks paid off for Ely as Liam Goodson netted the winner, and captain Mark Collins-Shirley said it was “a great match to warm us up for the season, there were lots of good things and things to work on.”