Football: Youthful Robins find it tough

PUBLISHED: 11:59 16 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

CROWD SCENE: An Ely player tries to keep hold of possession as Jamie Smith looks on.

CROWD SCENE: An Ely player tries to keep hold of possession as Jamie Smith looks on.

RIDGEONS FIRST DIVISION Ely City 1 Haverhill Rovers 3 ELY joint-manager Steve Taylor believed that the young age of his side was one of the decisive factors in this defeat- Ely s second in seven days. A Robins side shorn of several first team regulars thr

RIDGEONS FIRST DIVISION

Ely City 1 Haverhill Rovers 3

ELY joint-manager Steve Taylor believed that the young age of his side was one of the decisive factors in this defeat- Ely's second in seven days.

A Robins side shorn of several first team regulars through injury or suspension struggled against a physical Haverhill outfit who have now won five of their last six games.

Gary Dewsbury, Paul Cousins, Graham Retallick and Dean Blackman were alll unavailable for selection, while defender Jamie Smith played despite suffering from flu.

This meant that Ely were forced to play five players who were aged under 20, with Robbie Mason, Arry Scarborough, Stephen Spriggs, Ashley Taylor and Liam Hart all promoted from the under-18 set-up.

Rovers took the lead after five minutes and extended their lead just before half-time with a penalty after a handball by Ashley Taylor. Rovers made it 3-0 in the second half, before Martin Westcott pulled a goal back.

Tony Brown could have set up a grandstand finale, but his goal was disallowed for a push.

"Having five players under 20 was a contributory factor," said Taylor. "It was always going to be a difficult task for us, looking at the side we put out."

In other news, Taylor confirmed that striker Peter Munns was to retire from the game.

RIDGEONS PREMIER DIVISION

Needham Market 0 Soham Town Rangers 0

SOHAM just failed to do the league double over Needham Market, despite dominating most of the play in this match.

Aron Rutter had a first half shot saved, while Steve Bugg and Martin Bromwich both spurned second half opportunities.

The draw means that Soham are unbeaten in 14 league games, and are well poised to launch an assault on a top-six place. They lie in seventh on 48 points, three points behind Fen rivals Wisbech Town.

"We went out there to win and we will go anywhere and try to win," said Greens boss Ian Benjamin. "I felt we deserved to win too, we had the majority of the ball.

"The back-five were fantastic and we worked hard all over the pitch. We were the ones who were on the front foot and looked to try and create something. They've got a good defensive record, but they were the happier ones when the final whistle went."

Matt Robinson returns from suspension for Saturday's trip to King's Lynn reserves, and Benjamin said he felt the midfielder's influence was missed against Needham.

"I think we did miss him a little bit. He offers us that little bit extra in the midfield area, he's a quality player.

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