GALLERY: Glorious night for Ely as they beat Cambridge City to retain CIC Cup
- Credit: Archant
ELY City retained the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup with a 3-0 win over Cambridge City on Monday night.
Goals from Richard Chadwick, Austen Diaper and David Wilson handed the Robins their second victory at The Abbey Stadium in as many years following last year’s memorable 3-2 win over Soham Town Rangers.
Cambridge City, who play two leagues higher than Ely, hit the woodwork three times on a luckless night and were also reduced to 10 men following a red card early in the second half as they slipped to a surprise defeat.
Robins boss Alan Alsop said: “The players put in a huge effort and I can’t fault any of them. I thought Soham made it harder for us in last year’s final and I was surprised that we were 3-0 ahead so early in the second half.
“Our work rate was superb and I think we surprised them with how well we played. When we play like that, we’re a match for any side and we proved that again tonight.”
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Chadwick was the first to test the Cambridge City goalkeeper with a speculative shot in the early stages as both sides probed.
The best chance of the early stages fell to Cambridge however, as Adam Marriott struck the post with a curling free-kick from 25 yards that had Ely captain Lee Pacey beaten all ends up.
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The Robins rode their luck and, just a shade past the half-hour mark, they opened the scoring as Chadwick tucked home the rebound after his penalty kick was saved at the first time of asking by Zac Barrett.
Diaper saw a rasping drive fly just over for Ely before Robbie Nightingale poked over the bar from eight yards out following a fumbled save from Pacey.
Bew Lawrence’s famous long throws have been a constant source of goals for the Robins over the past three seasons and so it proved again six minutes into the second half as Diaper rose highest to power a header past Barrett.
Cambridge were reduced to 10 men moments later when Tom Pepper was given his marching orders for a reckless lunge on Chadwick, leaving them with a mountain to climb.
Their task was made near impossible when, just three minutes later, Wilson scrambled the ball over the line following a goal-mouth melee, sending the Robins travelling faithful into raptures.