Important win for Robins

ELY City kicked-off the new year in fine style with an important derby win over Newmarket Town on Monday.

Ely City 2

Newmarket Town 1

ELY City kicked-off the new year in fine style with an important derby win over Newmarket Town on Monday.

A goal in either half was enough to put the hosts in the driving seat and they defended their lead manfully in the latter stages despite going down to 10-men when Richard Chadwick was sent-off with 20 minutes to go.

The win moves the Robins up into 16th place ahead of their clash with Stanway Rovers on Saturday.

Delighted boss Alan Alsop, said: “It was the best possible start to the new year and a very welcome three points. The lads gave it everything and there were definitely a lot of tired legs in the changing room afterwards, especially as we have found it hard to fit training in with the weather.

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“I thought our centre-mid partnership of James Wallis and Dave Smith were outstanding, their work rate was up there with the best and I also thought we defended very well.”

New signing Michael Ebanks-Blake was lively for the Robins on his full debut and almost created a goal in the third minute after his cross found Chadwick in the box only for the ball to cannon off the latter’s standing leg and into the path of a defender.

Blake also saw a rasping shot on the angle well gathered by the visiting keeper just three minutes later as Ely piled on the pressure.

Former city forward Grant Robbins almost netted against his former club after 12 minutes but saw his follow up effort sail over the bar after his initial shot was parried by keeper Lee Pacey.

Robins midfielder Dave Smith opened the scoring after 20 minutes, latching onto an excellent cross from Sam Parkinson to fire home from close range.

Ebanks-Blake went close again shortly before half-time but his shot was denied once more by the Newmarket custodian.

The visitors redoubled their efforts after the break but had their momentum checked less than 10 minutes in when Parkinson curled home a superb freekick from the edge of the box.

Newmarket pulled a goal back in the 70th minute, after a decisive ball split the Ely defence and allowed a striker to run through and score. Matters worsened for Ely two minutes later when Chadwick received his marching orders for a stamp.

To their credit however, Ely quickly re-focused and kept Newmarket at bay in a frantic last 20 minutes.