NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Boss insists there can be no repeat of Ely City collapse

PUBLISHED: 09:49 24 October 2019

Ely City boss Brady Stone. Picture: IAN CARTER

Ely City boss Brady Stone. Picture: IAN CARTER

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Ely City boss Brady Stone has warned there can be no repeat of the club's second-half horror show last Saturday.

City slumped to a 5-1 home defeat at the hands of Kirkley & Pakefield in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

Stone was hugely encouraged by his side's showing in the first period as they were on level terms with Steve Holder finding the net, but they then collapsed after the break in miserable fashion.

"We were really good in the first half and deservedly level at the break - in fact we could have been ahead had we taken our chances," said Stone.

"Everything was positive at half-time and I had high hopes that we could go on and win the game.

"But the second half was nothing short of a disgrace. We were conceded three goals in the first 10 minutes and then downed tools.

"We stopped working, we stopped playing and all we did was feel sorry for ourselves.

"I can't put it any more clearly than we simply gave up and that is completely unacceptable.

"It's clear we're in a difficult spell and that confidence is very low so the last thing I wanted to do was go in the dressing room after the game and tear the paint off the walls.

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"A lot of home truths were told, though, and the lads sat with their heads down looking at the floor. That's a sure sign they knew they had let themselves down.

"We need to stick together and rebuild, and any players who don't want to roll their sleeves up for the battle can leave."

City produced an improved showing when bowing out of the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.

They were beaten 2-0 by fellow Cambridgeshire side Godmanchester Rovers at The Demcom Stadium with the visitors hitting an early opener and late clincher.

Their breakthrough was provided by left-back Johnny Herd who made one appearance for City earlier this month.

The Ely side included two signings. Veteran striker Richard Chadwick and midfielder Ardened Hida have joined on dual-registration deals from Cambridgeshire County League sides Milton and Cherry Hinton respectively.

They will also be in the City squad for a Premier Division trip to fellow strugglers Haverhill Rovers on Friday night, 7.45pm - a match Stone insists is one his men have to win.

"It's a massive game," added Stone. "We're the two bottom teams in the form table and we're both struggling in the actual table as well.

"It might only be October but it is already a must-win game as far as I'm concerned."

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