NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Ely City savour super Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division start before going in search of long-awaited FA Cup success
PUBLISHED: 10:22 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:23 08 August 2018
Ely City chief Brady Stone has praised a perfect start to the new Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division season.
The Robins have roared to back-to-back home victories to begin the 2018/19 campaign with a bang.
They followed up a 3-1 success against newly-promoted Framlingham Town in their Saturday curtain-raiser – a first opening day success of Stone’s managerial run - with a 2-0 derby triumph against Newmarket Town last night (Tuesday).
Stone, who missed the Newmarket clash due to illness, said: “We couldn’t have asked for any more from the players.
“We knew we had to make the most of starting the season with two home games, but it’s not the just the results that are pleasing.
“Our performances in both games have been really impressive and it is a great way to get the season going.
“We knew Framlingham were going to provide a tough test after being promoted and it is always a battle against Newmarket.
“There’s no doubt we deserved the three points last Saturday and I’ve heard some really good things about how we played last night.Ely C”
All the goals arrived in the second half against Framlingham with Deakan Napier breaking the deadlock six minutes after the break when volleying in a Jamie Thurlbourne cross.
That was cancelled out on the hour, but Lee Reed hit a late double to earn Ely the points. He restored their advantage from the penalty spot after Daniel Jeffrey was brought down and then tucked away a 90th minute clincher after being released by Lewis Hook.
Two goals in the space of three second-half minutes then earned derby glory against Newmarket.
They hit the front just after the hour when Sam Reed classily lifted the ball over advancing goalkeeper Alex Archer after being picked out by a searching pass from his older brother, Lee, and the City lead quickly doubled as Hook struck from a corner.
Ely now turn their attention to the FA Cup with an extra preliminary round trip to lower-level Northampton side Sileby Rangers this Saturday.
City have not won an FA Cup tie during Stone’s four seasons in charge and he hopes to bring that unwanted run to an end.
He added: “It hasn’t been a happy competition for us in the last few years, but hopefully we can build on the great start to the league season and make progress.
“We don’t know a lot about Sileby, but that’s not really a concern. Our focus will on ensuring we perform to the levels we have against Framlingham and Newmarket.
“It will be a tough test, especially as we have seven first-team lads missing, but we’ll call in boys from the reserves and I’m sure they will take the opportunity.”