Heartache For Ely In Cup Semi-Final
PUBLISHED: 12:48 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010
A DESPERATELY unlucky Ely City were knocked out of the Cambs Invitation Cup last night after a injury-time own goal handed Cambridge victory. Despite valiantly matching the Lillywhites for large parts of the tie, the Robins were cruelly undone in the seco
A DESPERATELY unlucky Ely City were knocked out of the Cambs Invitation Cup last night after a injury-time own goal handed Cambridge victory.
Despite valiantly matching the Lillywhites for large parts of the tie, the Robins were cruelly undone in the second-half of extra time as defender Ben Lawrence put through his own net.
Given City's far higher standing on football's pyramid system, Ely could have been forgiven for pulling up at the Milton Ground with every intention of manoeuvring their team bus squarely in front of the home goal.
They seldom showed any such signs of doing so however, despite the early lead afforded to Cambridge as Steve Gentle latched onto the end of an expertly guided cross to score.
The setback didn't long impinge upon the Robins desire to get amongst their lofty opponents though, and they had restored terms just five minutes later as Wayne Goddard drilled home from the penalty spot.
City made a key change for the start of the second-half and the introduction of Scott Neilson proved almost prophetic from manager Gary Roberts as the striker restored the home sides' lead, latching onto a measured through ball to net.
With the hosts' lead restored and the ever-worsening conditions on the night, Denis Lightning's side were faced with a herculean task to get back on terms, but, as so often they have this season, they turned to the long throws of Lawrence to find a way through.
Just over 10 minutes from time another of Lawrence's throws found its way through to Lee Dixon who nodded over a flailing Zac Barrett in the home goal to bring the scores level once more.
Ely piled on the pressure in the dying minutes of the game but Cambridge defended admirably to see the game through to the extra half-hour.
The turning point came some seven minutes into the second-half of added time when hitherto hero Lawrence inadvertently lobbed oncoming keeper Kieran Badcock to hand the tie to Cambridge.