'Wake-up call' could spark Robins into life, says joint-boss

Ely City in action with Downham Town in the FA Vase

Ely City joint-boss Luke McAvoy believes his side's defeat to Wroxham provided "a wake-up call" in their season so far. - Credit: Daniel Mason

Luke McAvoy hopes a setback against early pacesetters can provide “a wake-up call” to Ely City after a mixed start to the league campaign. 

The Robins were beaten 4-0 at home to leaders Wroxham in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division on Saturday, ending a two-game unbeaten run for the hosts. 

“We went to Brantham, got a good point, then Fakenham and got a good win, and felt like we turned the corner and getting back on track,” McAvoy said. 

“The Wroxham game was tough.  

“You’ve got to be perfect if you’re going to get anything against them because they’re the best side in the league.

“It was a wake-up call, but we now need to bounce back from it.” 

McAvoy and fellow joint-manager Ben Farmer have been unable to pick a consistent squad so far this season, with many key players absent due to injury, Covid-19 or away. 

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Because of this, McAvoy believes it has been tough to progress despite changing his team’s style of play. 

“We’ve either been very bad or very good so far,” he said. 

“I think like us, a lot of clubs are finding that they haven’t had the same starting line-up once from game to game. 

“Until we can do that, we don’t feel we can kick on.” 

Ely will have to play the remainder of the season without Ryan Harnwell, who is out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, while Josh Townshend remains sidelined. 

Defender Nick Harrison is due to return to the fold, but it is unclear when Jamie Thurlbourne will play for the Robins because of an ankle injury. 

But McAvoy hopes their league clash with newly-promoted Mulbarton Wanderers at the Demcom Stadium this Saturday, 3pm, can act as the perfect platform to earn their first home win this term. 

“What we need from the players is to make sure they’re available so we can build and get some continuity into what we’re trying to do,” he said. 

“We’ve been a bit too open and need to be more organised, making it harder for teams to play at our ground.  

“It’s been disappointing as that’s what we pride ourselves on.  

“That’s the challenge for the players, to bounce back from poor home results, show more pride and get back to being a hard side to play against.”