Five star Ely City fly to second in the league after hammering Halstead Town

Ely City's Craig Neal bagged a brace in the Robins' 5-1 hammering of Halstead Town.

Ely City's Craig Neal bagged a brace in the Robins' 5-1 hammering of Halstead Town. - Credit: Archant

Ely City continued their march up the Thurlow Nunn Division One table with yet another scintillating victory on Saturday – this time hammering Halstead Town 5-1.

The Robins have now netted an impressive 15 goals in their previous three games and their recent form has seen them surge to second place in the league, and three goals in 12 minutes in the second half saw Brady Stone’s men bag their third consecutive victory.

Both teams started brightly but the Robins got off to a disastrous start after Halstead took the lead when Harry Reynolds couldn’t hold a free kick and the ball was bundled home from close range

Ely regrouped, and some quick thinking from Sam Goodge soon brought an equaliser after Halstead’s keeper inadvertently played the ball into his path and he made no mistake.

Goodge would soon be celebrating a second goal, after neat work between Craig Neal and James Seymour set up Goodge to fire into the top corner.

Goodge nearly completed his hat-trick early in the second half but was denied by a goal line clearance after he rounded the Halstead keeper.

Ely’s dominance continued and they notched a third goal when Alex Theobald finished coolly after being played in by Seymour.

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The Robins’ midfield was controlling the game, and Craig Neal added his name to the scoresheet when he slid the ball home after a square ball from Seymour.

Ely scored their third goal in 12 second-half minutes and Neal got his second after he nodded home from a loose ball.

Some expert goalkeeping from Reynolds denied a Halstead comeback, and the Robins had chances to extend their four-goal lead, including a good opportunity for 17-year-old debutant Matt Ashman.

Ely couldn’t add to their five goals, but Brady Stone was delighted with his team’s performance: “The boys are playing with confidence and we created – and took – our chances which is excellent.”

Stone’s side are now second in the league – nine points behind Wivenhoe – but Brady Stone says his side are focusing on enjoying their football, rather than mounting a fully-fledged title challenge.

He said: “If we’re near the top of the league at the end of the season then that’s great but at the minute we’re just enjoying our football.”

The Robins now face somewhat of a fixture pile-up in the coming days, with four games in the next 10 days, with their next game coming against Cambridge City in the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup tomorrow night (7.45pm).