Diaper’s strike seals crucial win

Ely City 1 Brantham Athletic 0

A SUPERB second-half display from Ely City saw them secure a crucial win over promotion-chasers Brantham on Saturday.

In-form striker Austen Diaper’s left foot strike shortly after the hour mark was a goal worthy of winning any match and ensured Ely remain in pole position to take second spot in the Ridgeons Premier Division.

There are five points between Ely and Brantham in the race for second spot, albeit the Robins having played a game more.

The first half was a largely dour affair as the evenly matches teams cancelled each other out.

Luke Parkinson should have done better with a volley from 15 yards that he sent sailing over the bar and Diaper dragged a shot woefully wide when well placed as Ely shaded the chances.

Brantham were also left rueing there finishing late on in the half after Tom Wray snatched at a shot after he had worked a yard of space at the back post to collect Kieran Lawler’s deep cross.

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The Robins finally came alive in the second half, with just two minutes played when Richard Chadwick squaring for Nick Impey, only for the wide-man to head wide from six yards out.

Luke Parkinson again had a good shooting chance as pressure mounted on the Brantham goal, but he failed to keep his volley down with the goalkeeper closing in.

Josh Bridgeman and Dave Smith both saw shots cleared off the line in the ensuing 10 minutes as the Ely midfield started to dominate but it was striker Diaper who finally broke the deadlock, collect the ball on the edge of the area before working a yard of space and curling home from 20 yards.

Goalkeeper Lee Pacey made an outstanding stop just five minutes later following a Bratham counter-attack but there was little else to cheer for the visitors as Ely continued to create chances.

Impey’s low volley struck the foot of the post and Diaper was denied a second goal with five minutes to go as Ryan Bedingfield made a superb save.