NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: 'Don't panic' says Ely City chief
PUBLISHED: 11:48 18 September 2019
Boss Brady Stone insists there is no need for Ely City to panic as they battle through a tough run.
The Robins were thumped 5-1 at Godmanchester Rovers in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division last Saturday.
They have now gone eight games without a win in all competitions after starting the campaign with back-to-back triumphs.
Alan Alsop took charge of City for the Cambridgeshire derby loss with Stone and number two Martin Grey both away. He was left with a side depleted by injury and unavailability, and also without a recognised goalkeeper.
Joe Murfitt - usually a midfielder for the reserves - deputised between the sticks for a City side who claimed a late consolation through debutant Ollie Ward.
The teenage talent, who was one of three Under 18 players in the squad, climbed off the bench to strike in the closing stages.
"There's no doubt we've had a tough run and also been hit by an injury crisis at the wrong time," said Stone.
"But we were in an even tougher situation last season and all we can do is keep smiling and work through it.
"The positive from Saturday is that we had three of the Under 18 lads involved and we're really happy one of them - Ollie - got himself a goal.
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"We showed at the start of the season that we are capable of winning games and there's certainly no panic at this stage.
"We have only played seven league games and we've picked up eight points from them which is far from a disaster.
"Of course we want to get back to winning ways as soon as possible but things aren't to get any easier for us this Saturday."
Stone is referring to a home date against high-flying Norwich United at the Demcom Stadium, 3pm.
The visitors sit second in the Premier Division standings and look set to provide another stern test for the Robins who will be buoyed by a number of returning players.
Goalkeeper Harry Reynolds, defender Joe Brannan and captain Jamie Alsop will all be back while midfielder Sam Goodge could start after an appearance as a substitute at Godmanchester after three months away travelling.
"Norwich United have started really well and from the reports I've received they are a very useful side," added Stone.
"It's a game where we're not under pressure and hopefully we can go out there and cause a surprise."
Striker Steve Holder completes a three-match ban and will be available again when City go to Step 6 side Haverhill Borough in the opening round of the League Challenge Cup on Tuesday.