Luckless Ely Lose Out To Gritty Needham

PUBLISHED: 12:23 10 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 04 May 2010

A LUCKLESS Ely City got their season off to a bad start with a 1-0 loss at home to Needham Market. The Robins were arguably the better side for large swathes of the match but were ultimately caught out by a momentarily lapse in concentration at the back t

A LUCKLESS Ely City got their season off to a bad start with a 1-0 loss at home to Needham Market.

The Robins were arguably the better side for large swathes of the match but were ultimately caught out by a momentarily lapse in concentration at the back that allowed the visitors to seal the win.

Much was made of defensive duo Brady Stone and Tony Brown's absence from the starting line-up at the start of the game but the suspended pair would have been encouraged by the performance of their colleagues early on as the sides squared up.

Despite a solid start though, the game's first effort fell to Needham inside ten minutes as forward Danny Phillips drilled low only to be denied by an excellent save from Lee Pacey low to his right.

Richard Chadwick responded for Ely minutes later as he found some space down the left, but a snatched effort from the front-man sailed well over.

Both sides exchanged attacks in the ensuing minutes but it was the visitors who managed to find the cutting edge as a superbly placed through ball caught the Ely line somewhat flat-footed and left Needham's Danny Thrower with the simple task of rounding Pacey and firing home.

Clearly stung by the setback, Ely came out for the second-half keen to get the game under control and their renewed vigour was epitomised by the tireless work of frontman Adam Bensaud, who hounded and harried relentlessly across the front-line.

Seemingly content with their lead, Needham afforded Ely much of the second-half possession and the Robins began to push hard as the game wore on.

New-signing Matthew Hanniver had a good chance to find the net after 65 minutes but his efforts from a Chadwick knock-down were denied twice by some desperate work from the Needham defence, whose bravery under fire kept the ball away from an exposed goal.

As Ely committed more to the attack, their defence became somewhat susceptible to the long ball and Needham spurned a couple of good chances to seal the match.

In the latter stages, Simon Warren should have levelled the scores from a corner but the captain could only head over from six yards when the target beckoned. Speedy substitute Grant Robins, should also have done better from 10 yards following a darting run but he could only poke his effort into the side netting.

Ely play host to Wisbech Town in the FA Cup preliminary stages on Aug 15 at the Unwin Ground.

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