NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Brady Stone out to sign off in style as Ely City boss
PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 December 2019
Brady Stone is determined to go out on a high - in the final match of his Ely City reign and their last fixture of the decade.
An emotional night is assured at the Demcom Stadium on Friday as Stone takes charge of the local club for the final time.
The popular boss steps down from the Robins hotseat - along with trusty sidekick Martin Grey - following a crucial Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division clash against Haverhill Rovers, 7.45pm. New bosses Luke McAvoy and Ben Farmer then take charge.
Third-bottom City won 3-2 at Rovers, who sit one point above them in the standings, in the reverse fixture back in October and are now targeting another three points.
But, whatever the result on Friday, Stone and Grey will look back on their near six years in charge - a reign which has included promotion and two Cambs Invitation Cup wins - with huge pride.
"It's a game we want to win . . . and one that we really need to win," added Stone.
"I'm sure it will be an emotional night - there's a good chance I'll shed a tear or two - but we have to forget about the occasion and focus on 90 minutes of football.
"Regardless of what happens in this game, myself and Martin are proud of what we have achieved on and off the pitch and we can walk away with our heads held high.
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"We're both going to remain involved on the committee and continue some of the projects we have started.
"We're both committed to making Ely City the best club it possibly can be and we have no qualms about stepping away from the dugout to aid that.
"The time has come for a change and we've definitely made the right change as far as I'm concerned."
City drew 1-1 at Kirkley & Pakefield last Saturday.
Young talent Mitch Drewett put them ahead with 10 minutes to go when grabbing his first senior goal in his second fist-team appearance.
Goalkeeper Harry Reynolds then pulled off two fine saves and Matty Simpson made a goal-line clearance before the hosts eventually levelled with the final kick of the game.
"Our work-rate, desire and performance were all fantastic," continued Stone. "There is no doubt in my mind we deserved all three points and it was a sickener to concede so late.
"But it could be a very valuable point in the battle to stay up and hopefully we can put three more on the board for Luke and Ben on Friday."