NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Another FA Cup tie to forget as attacking ace is sent off after Ely City exit
- Credit: Archant
Ely City’s FA Cup curse struck again following an extra preliminary round exit – and boss Brady Stone was far from impressed.
He saw his side were dumped out of the famous competition by lower-level opposition last Saturday.
They succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Northampton outfit Sileby Rangers after conceding early goals in both halves. It meant Stone’s record of never having won an FA Cup tie during his Robins reign continued.
City’s misery was compounded by the dismissal of attacking ace Deaken Napier for dissent following the final whistle. He will now be hit with a three-match suspension.
“I think I’ll probably stay at home next time we play in the FA Cup,” said Stone. “There is absolutely no doubt we deserved to go out. We were second-best from start to finish.
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“We only really had a short spell before half-time where we created a couple of chances and looked dangerous.
“For the rest of the game we looked liked we had never played together before. The work-rate and effort were there, but the quality certainly wasn’t.
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“We had six players and a lot of experience missing from the side, but that’s no excuse for the standard of our performance.
“We had a good pre-season and started really well in the league, so to go out of the FA Cup like that hurts.
“We’ve let the club down because the prize money would have come in so useful, but we have to put it down as a bad at the office, learn from it and move on.”
City return to Thurlow Nunn League action with successive Premier Division away games.
They go to Long Melford this Saturday ahead of a Tuesday trip to Histon with Stone calling for a return to the form which saw them beat Framlingham 3-1 and Newmarket 2-0 in their opening two fixtures of the campaign.
“The league is our bread and butter and we need to pick up from where we left off against Newmarket,” added the City chief
“We have a lot of players back for Saturday and there will definitely be changes after the FA Cup games.
“Sometimes players make a manager’s job easy. Those that had the shirts didn’t do enough to keep them.”
Captain Jamie Alsop, Lee Reed, Alex Brown, Sam Goodge and Lewis Hook all return after missing the FA Cup exit.
Striker Alex Theobald is still nursing a groin injury and is expected to return in early September.
* Ely City Under 18s launch their season tonight (Thursday, 7.45pm) at the Ellgia Stadium. They host Cambridge City in the Cambridge Division of the Thurlow Nunn Youth League.