Ely promoted after win double

Ely City I 3 Cambridge Nomads II 0 Ely City I 3 Norwich City II 2

A SUPERB week for Ely saw them secure two more home wins and, with them, the league title, with a perfect winning home record to boot.

On Thursday night, under the lights at King’s School, and in front of a raucous crowd, Ely saw off a spirited Cambridge Nomads side in a scrappy display that secured the league title.

Ely started poorly, pushing too hard for an opening and neglecting the tactical discipline and patience that have been the hallmarks of their success this season. Had it not been for commanding performances from Feroze Abass and Jules Palmer at the back, the damage might have been worse and the team had to wait until almost half-time before Jack Upton tucked in a messy short-corner routine at the far-post to calm a few nerves.

Ely dominated the second half, but it was only 15 minutes from time when Rutland elegantly steered in a second, taking advantage of the latest Vincett assist, and a third quickly followed when the irrepressible Jolly tapped in the rebound following an extraordinary goal-line clearance from a Purllant thunderbolt. It wasn’t pretty, but it was three points and skipper Stu Clarke could open the champagne.

On Saturday, a weary Ely had to lift themselves for their final home game of the season against a characteristically physical and destructive Norwich City side.

It wasn’t a surprise that Ely again started slowly and found themselves 2-0 down after mistakes from keeper Parker had gifted Norwich two soft goals. A side with less spirit and less pride might have folded, but Ely’s response was magnificent. First Nick Wells was left with the simplest of finishes following a brilliant pass from Rutland and then, in the final play of the first half, Rob Radcliffe smashed home a short corner. It was fitting that Radcliffe, who has been instrumental in Ely’s success this season should score in his final game before he leaves for university next season. He and fellow youngsters Forber and Jack Upton will be missed.

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Norwich wilted under the pressure and Ely again dominated the second half, the winner coming following a free-flowing move down the left-wing and a crashing strike from Purllant at the top of the circle.