NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Lows along the way, but two huge highs to finish for Ely City
PUBLISHED: 08:33 03 May 2019
Ely City boss Brady Stone has reflected on a season of lows which ended in huge highs.
The Robins endured a tough campaign as they were hit by a stack of injuries and forced to fight for Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division survival.
But they eventually secured their Step 5 status with a game to spare as part of a sparkling end to the campaign which also saw them retain the Cambs Invitation Cup.
“A month ago I feared we were in big trouble given the form we were in and the tough run-in that was ahead of us,” admitted Stone.
“But we got important players back at the right time, made a couple of good signings and pulled off a great escape with some brilliant results.
“Winning the Cambs Invitation Cup again was another massive highlight. Beating the league champions, Histon, in the way we did was a huge achievement and that night formed part of a great end to the season.
“People talk about the highs and lows of football and we've certainly experienced those.
“We had such a tough season overall but ended up with a trophy and staying up so we've hit our targets again.
“It's been challenging at times, but the harder it gets the more I want to fight for this club.”
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City completed the campaign with a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of runners-up Woodbridge Town last Saturday. The visiting side struck early and late goals at the Ellgia Stadium to take the points.
It meant City finished 18th in the Premier Division standings – one place and four points above the drop-zone – and Stone is determined to improve on that position next term.
He added: “The main goal for Ely City is always to stay at Step 5, but we want to make progress and take the club forward and we'll be working hard this summer to try to make that happen.
“We want to hang on to the majority of the players and look to add a bit of quality if possible.
“In an ideal world we'll be able to bring in four or five players who fit into the way we like to do things.
“We have a few realistic targets who we believe we can attract to the club and that's something we'll be working on.
“It's just a case of keeping eyes open, ears peeled and seeing what is happening elsewhere.
“People don't come to Ely for a big payday. It's all about getting people enjoying their football and creating a tight group of players.”
City hold their end-of-season bash this Saturday at the Ellgia Stadium, 7.30pm start.
More on City: page 47.