Crucial points for Ely in relegation battle

Ely Mens Hockey

Ely Mens Hockey - Credit: Archant

Hockey Ely 6 Cambridge Nomads 3

ELY recovered from a mid-game wobble to claim a much-needed win over Cambridge Nomads as they battle to avoid relegation.

Perched precariously above the relegation zone, and with only six games to go to the end of the season, Ely were in dire need of three and a bright start from the hosts premised a fruitful afternoon.

Chris Purlant opened the scoring after seizing on a rebounded shot from a short corner, drilling the ball past the Nomads keeper who had been left off his line following the short corner.

A second was added shortly after by prolific striker Scott Gilmour following a great build up of passes that put Gilmour in a position to clinch his first of two for the day.

Ely looked comfortably in control of the game and passed the ball around the Nomads’ midfield with ease.

After a sustained period of ‘pass and move’ hockey, it was Gilmour who once again tore through the defence, but this time selflessly laid the ball off for Tommy Hugo who was left with a simple tap-in at the back post to claim Ely’s third of the game.

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With the score 3-0 at half-time, Ely looked as if they had three points in the bag, but Nomads were not finished.

The Cambridge side came out of the blocks fast in the second half and within moments, they had broken through and scored.

The hosts looked briefly unsettled and lost the cool collective head that they had held high in the first half. Nomads recognised their opportunity and pounced, bringing the score back to 3-2.

Ely regrouped, but the Cambridge side were rejuvenated and not about to roll over. The ensuing end-to-end play resulted in another goal for Ely, this time courtesy of a powerful strike from Gilmour, and then an almost immediate response from Nomads bringing the score to 4-3.

It was only in the last 10 minutes of the game that Ely found the pattern of play that had seen them pull ahead in the first half. Building from the back and then using the strong midfield, Ely waited for their opportunity and then pounced, with midfielder Nick Wells getting his first of the day. Hugo then claimed his second tap-in of the day, bringing the score to 6-3 as the final whistle went.

Ely face Old Southendians away next weekend and will be hoping to maintain their momentum.