Decisive win for Ely

ELY struck a decisive blow in their bid to avoid the drop this season as they crushed fellow strugglers Spalding.


City of Ely 7

Spalding 2

ELY struck a decisive blow in their bid to avoid the drop this season as they crushed fellow strugglers Spalding.

A hat-trick from captain Chris Purllant and two goals from Matt Holden did much of the damage for Ely, who shifted through the gears in the second half after a tense opening.

The all-important win helped Ely leapfrog their opponents into the relative safety of 10th place in Division 2N of the East Hockey League, though they remain just a point away from the drop zone.

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Ely opened the match with some promising play, settling quickly into their preferred style of pass-and-move hockey.

It didn’t take long for their polished style to pay dividends, with Matt Holden opening the scoring with less than ten minutes gone. Spalding came back though, and equalised from a short corner soon after.

Purllant’s men were quick to re-group and the long balls fired hopefully forward by the Spalding midfield failed to trouble the solid back four of Forber, Kisby, Reynolds and Purlant. Adam Graham managed to hand the home side the advantage mere minutes before half-time as he smashed home to restore Ely’s lead.

The second half opened with more imaginative play from the Ely midfield and they soon created an opportunity for Holden to bag his second of the day. Spalding were not to be outdone though, and managed to get back into the game with a quick-fire response to Ely’s third.

Having succumbed to the opposition in similar circumstances this season, Ely were determined not to let the three points slip again. Midfielders Rutledge and Clarke passed the ball seamlessly around their Spalding counterparts, creating endless opportunities for the lighting quick Gilmour and the alternating brilliance of Upton and Radcliffe on the flanks. The opportunities lead to a succession of short corners for Ely.

Purllant stepped up to the top of the Spalding D and opened up a crucial two-goal lead with a powerful drag flick into the corner of the Spalding goal. The two short corners that followed in the next five minutes saw Purllant claim his hat-trick – one rocket dispatched after the other.

With the score at a comfortable 6-2, the Ely team, lifted by the skipper’s rout, continued to play flowing hockey around the bewildered Spalding side. With a final flurry, Reynolds crossed an inch perfect ball to Upton who sent the ball home to complete the scoring.

Ely will no doubt hope to continue with their winning form when they host rivals March Town at the weekend. The game starts at 1.30pm.

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