NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Ely City chief Brady Stone salutes his side for hitting their 2017/18 season targets

PUBLISHED: 10:33 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:49 09 May 2018

There has been a lot to like for Ely City boss Brady Stone this season.

There has been a lot to like for Ely City boss Brady Stone this season.

Archant

Boss Brady Stone insists Ely City hit all their targets for the 2017/18 campaign.

The Robins finished in 14th place in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division after amassing 63 points. They also lifted the Cambs Invitation Cup.

And that adds up to a job well done according to the City boss, who said: “I’m delighted with the performances and efforts of the players. They are a great group to work with.

“We wanted a top-14 finish and 60 points in the league – and we got both of those things. Winning the county cup was a special moment for everyone.

“The lads all love it at Ely and hopefully we can keep everyone together while adding three or four new faces. We already have people showing an interest in joining us.

“Hopefully we can look at kicking on into the top 10 after spending a big part of this season up there.”

City completed their campaign with two Premier Division games in three days.

They powered to a 4-1 home success against Hadleigh last Saturday in their final Ellgia Stadium outing.

Deakan Napier’s opener was cancelled out before the break, but City took command in the second half. Sam Reed struck twice and Alex Theobald also found the net in an emphatic victory.

The curtain then came down with a 2-1 defeat at Godmanchester Rovers on Bank Holiday Monday.

Nick Heap put them ahead against their fourth-placed hosts, but the contest turned when first-team debutant Scott Callaghan saw red later in the first half.

He received his marching orders for deliberately handling a goalbound shot and Rovers added salt to the wounds by tucking away the subsequent penalty to level.

Ely battled superbly but were undone by a second Rovers goal midway through the second half although Stone felt a handball in the build-up went unnoticed. A series of terrific Harry Reynolds saves prevented a heavier defeat.

“It was a great way to finish at home last Saturday,” added Stone. “We played some lovely football at times.

“We only lost four home games all season in the league and we’re quite happy with that record.

“We were without eight regular players at Godmanchester and it was always going to be hard down to 10 men in that heat. We were also facing a very good side who moved the ball well.

“We battled to the end of what was our 60th game stretching back to pre-season last summer.

“That’s way too much football at our level as far as I’m concerned and I’m pleased to see the league going back to 22 teams from 24 for next season.”

Stone is keen to appoint a new first-team coach for next season. Anyone interested in the role should contact him by email on stonebrady1986@yahoo.com by June 1.

Ash Walter did a double as Ely held their presentation bash last Saturday. He scooped the players’ player and supporters’ player of the season accolades, while Alex Brown took the manager’s player of the season gong.

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