Football: Title hopes must be Bourne again

PUBLISHED: 11:47 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

Ely’s quest for the under-18 North League championship will face a stern examination over the next few weeks especially after a key defeat against Bourne.

Ely's quest for the under-18 North League championship will face a stern examination over the next few weeks especially after a key defeat against Bourne.

Ridgeons Under-18 North League Ely City 1 Bourne Town 2 ELY face a crucial game next week in their quest for the championship after a sickening home defeat on Tuesday night. The Young Robins are one point clear at the top of the table but face their nea

Ridgeons Under-18

North League

Ely City 1 Bourne Town 2

ELY face a crucial game next week in their quest for the championship after a sickening home defeat on Tuesday night.

The Young Robins are one point clear at the top of the table but face their nearest rivals, Blackstones, on Wednesday night with a critical three points up for grabs.

Manager Stephen Reid is well aware of the vital nature of the games his team face over the next few weeks. "I believe that if we beat Blackstones we can win the league," said Reid.

"I've always said that you can still win the league if you lose three games, but there's so many good teams involved. You've got Deeping, Bourne, King's Lynn, who've all got to play each other. Even if we don't win the league we will have a say in who does win it."

There is no denying, however, that Ely's promotion ambitions have suffered a considerable dent after this defeat. By the time Lawrie Carter got the home team on the scoresheet two minutes from time, it was too little, too late.

"We didn't deserve anything from the game," reflected a rueful Reid. "Bourne wanted it more. The wind ddin't help either team but, at the end of the day, you can make all the excuses you want about the conditions and having players missing. With the team we put out, we should still have got something from the game."

Ely's progress, however, is a cause for optimism among Robins fans. After losing their first match of the season - ironically, at home to Blackstones - Reid's team went unbeaten until Tuesday night, when they suffered their first reverse in eight matches.

They also have a Munns County Cup quarter-final at local rivals Soham United on Sunday, so they are fighting on two fronts.

Ely had gone top of the table with a 4-1 win against March Town United last week, striker Liam Hart grabbing all four goals.

In a match where Ely missed a hatful of chances, Hart opened the scoring after 10 minutes but the Hares got a shock equaliser just before half-time.

Normal service was resumed in the second half with Hart notching a further three goals, to round off an excellent team performance.

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