Ely City 3-2 Dereham Town Reserves: Stone says Robins must stop ‘leaking’ goals after surviving late Dereham rally

Craig Neal notches Ely City's third against Dereham Town Reserves in the Robins' 3-2 victory.

Craig Neal notches Ely City's third against Dereham Town Reserves in the Robins' 3-2 victory. - Credit: Archant

Ely City boss Brady Stone says his men need to stop ‘leaking’ goals after they came close to throwing away a three-goal lead against struggling Dereham Town Reserves.

The Robins showed no signs of rustiness after a ten day break; surging into a three-goal lead thanks to a brace from Alex Theobald – his first goals in 2016 – and a strike from Craig Neal.

However, Ely were forced to cling on to secure the three points after conceding two goals in the space of one second-half minute.

Stone was pleased to get the all-important win which keeps the Robins’ promotion push on track, but says that conceding too many goals remains a worry.

He said: “Getting the three points was the most important thing but we made hard work of it. We were flying and were in complete cruise control but then just decided to concede the two goals and in the end, we had to hang on for the win.

“The most important thing was the win, but we need to stop leaking goals.”

The Ely boss also believes his side need to be more clinical in front of goal, as their failure to kill off Dereham with more goals was seized upon by Great Yarmouth Town, who moved into second place in the Thurlow Nunn Division One on goal difference after their 4-1 success over Haverhill Borough.

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Stone said: “We missed a hatful of half chances that we really should be putting away. We need to be finishing off the teams that are near the bottom of the league.”

The Robins are now faced with a Friday evening fixture against Haverhill Borough (7.45pm), and despite being a handed a heavy defeat to Ely’s promotion rivals Great Yarmouth on Saturday, Stone knows that eighth-placed Haverhill will pose a threat to his men.

“They’re a good team with good players,” said Stone. “We need to prepare and go into the game with the right mentality.

“I spoke to their manager at the weekend and he said they played really well against Yarmouth. Yarmouth only had five shots and scored four goals, so we’ll need to be on top form if we’re to take anything from Haverhill on Friday.”