NON-LEAGUE: Ely City must stick together to turn their season around
PUBLISHED: 11:40 23 January 2019
Brady Stone has challenged his struggling Ely City players to be masters of their own destiny.
The Robins crashed to a fourth successive Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division defeat when being beaten 3-0 at local rivals Newmarket Town last Saturday.
Stone could draw few positives from a disappointing display in which his side fell behind late in the first half before being killed off by two futher goals in the second period.
And things aren’t about to get any easier for a City team sitting just four points above the drop-zone.
They entertain seventh-placed Wroxham this Saturday, 3pm, before facing title-chasing sides Stowmarket (February 2) and Histon (February 9).
But Stone said: “We’re the only ones who can drag ourselves out of this difficult run.
“It’s time to roll up our sleeves, stick together and fight for every point to try to keep us in this division.
“We’ve had one really bad run this season where we only got one point from 10 games and we can’t afford to let that happen again. If it does, we will go down – it’s that simple.
“Football is all about being ruthless at both ends of the pitch and we’ve got to start doing that to get results.
“We looked like conceding every time Newmarket went forward last Saturday, but never really looked like scoring ourselves.
“It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is wrong, but we’re not working together as a team.
“Maybe players are trying too hard, maybe some aren’t doing enough, others have possibly gone into their shell.
“It’s tough for us as we don’t have the money of other clubs in the area and we’ve had to deal with so many injuries this season.
“Not only have we lost very important players on the pitch, we’re also missing the mentality and mindset in the dressing room.
“But we can’t change the past. We’ve got to look forward and try to get points from a run of really tough games and hopefully the locals will come out to get behind us.”
Strikers Alex Theobald and Tom Thulborn will both return to the City squad this Saturday.
Theobald hasn’t figured all season due to a groin problem while Thulborn has been out with a broken wrist.
Top-scorer Sam Reed came through an appearance as a substitute at Newmarket with no ill effects and loan signing Ben Nolan will also be involved.
The 17 year-old wideman arrived from Mildenhall last week but missed the derby loss at Newmarket due to illness.
City failed in a bid to sign former star Kelvin Enaro last week, but he chose to stay with First Division North outfit Lakenheath.
And Luke Brown has left for table-toppers Godmanchester Rovers. He will represent them for a few weeks until returning to America to complete a scholarship.