FA VASE: Ely City write their names in the history books with last-32 success over Shepshed Dynamo
- Credit: Archant
BUILDBASE FA VASE FOURTH ROUND Ely City 3-0 Shepshed Dynamo The Unwin Ground, Ely Attendance: 386
On a weekend where the FA Cup often takes centre stage, Ely City showed that the FA Vase can throw up just as much drama and magic.
The Robins made club history – in more ways than one – as they dispatched Leicestershire outfit Shepshed Dynamo 3-0 to seal their place in the last 16 of the competition for the first time.
A crowd of 386 – the biggest ever at the Unwin Ground – looked on as Ashley Shipp headed a first-half double and George Darling slotted a late third to send Brady Stone’s men into the next round - and just four wins away from a dream fixture at Wembley on May 21.
Midlands Football League side Shepshed began the tie on the front foot but Ely were resolute at the back and almost took the lead themselves in the 16th minute, but winger Kelvin Enaro was denied by a sliding Ben Gathercole when one-on-one.
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The deadlock was eventually broken – and the roof lifted off the Unwin – seven minutes before the break, when Shipp applied the decisive touch to an inswinging Enaro corner – despite protestations from the Shepshed management team that the winger’s set-piece wasn’t taken from inside the quadrant.
Ely’s strong finish to the first half was made even better just minutes later when skipper Jamie Alsop whipped in a delightful cross and Shipp glanced in a fine header at the near post to deservedly double Ely’s advantage.
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Stone’s men aren’t known for parking the bus, and they began the second half on the hunt for a third goal, with the lively Enaro blasting over after cutting inside on two occasions.
And in a repeat of the first half, Shepshed enjoyed the majority of possession with Ely playing almost on the break – and it was in this way how the Robins tied up the remarkable result with 15 minutes to play.
A long ball downfield was held up well by new recruit Sam Reed, who showed great vision to square the ball to George Darling, and the former Soham man neatly lifted the ball over Gathercole to give his side an unassailable lead.
The referee’s whistle was met with jubilant scenes at the Unwin, which will also play host to Ely’s fifth-round tie after they were drawn with Sporting Khalsa yesterday afternoon (January 9).
Khalsa sit in fifth in the Midlands League Premier Division - 11 places above Shepshed Dynamo.
The tie will take place on Saturday January 28 (3pm).