NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Holders Ely City get it spot on to reach another county final

Ely City manager Brady Stone. Picture: IAN CARTER

Ely City manager Brady Stone. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Delighted manager Brady Stone could not contain his excitement for his Ely City side after they reached the Cambs Invitation Cup final for the third successive season.

Stone was in jubilant mood after he witnessed his holders produce a display of resilience before seeing off higher-level Wisbech Town 3-1 on penalties in a Tuesday semi-final clash that had ended in a 1-1 deadlock.

It took just two minutes for the Robins to break the deadlock at the Ellgia Stadium courtesy of Josh Lowe’s close-range strike before they absorbed relentless pressure for the majority of the contest.

Danny Setchell equalised at the death for the visitors, but it was the Robins who prevailed from the spot as goalkeeper Harry Reynolds starred.

He saved the first two Wisbech penalties while Jamie Alsop slammed the first Ely effort against the crossbar.

But Steve Holder put the Robins ahead with their second attempt, Scott Callghan tucked away their third penalty and Daniel Jeffrey settled the issue after Wisbech had also missed their fourth attempt.

“To win the penalty shootout and get to the final for a third year in a row and hopefully defend our cup makes me very, very happy,” a delighted Stone said.

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“Being the underdogs, we knew Wisbech would have a lot of possession. We know they’ve got quality, but they rested a few players so that gave us a chance.

“The lads all worked their nuts off and I’m delighted for them more than anything after a tough season.

“We rode our luck at times, but when you’ve got Harry in goal, you’ve always got a chance.”

City’s reward is a final date against fellow Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Histon on April 10.

The showpiece clash will again be staged at the Abbey Stadium – the home of League Two club Cambridge United.

That was the venue where City were beaten in the 2016/17 final by Cambridge City, but they made amends by lifting the trophy with a famous victory over the Cambridge United Development side last term.

City were pipped 2-1 by Histon in a league clash last Saturday and Stone added: “We know it will be a very tough game, but we believe in ourselves.

“We’ll be the massive underdogs, but we’ve got no fear and we’ll look to enjoy ourselves again.”