Injury time strike earns point for Robins
Brantham Athletic 2 Ely City 2
AN equaliser deep into injury time handed Ely a share of the spoils against high-flyers Brantham on Saturday.
Having fallen behind in the 90th minute, Ely looked dead and buried but a free-kick in the dying seconds of the match fell at the feet of Kenny Smith, who smashed home to earn Ely a point.
The draw sees the Robins move up into fifth place on 34 points, just three points behind second-place Brantham, albeit having played a game more.
Alan Alsop’s men came into the game on the back of a 12-game unbeaten run and looked every inch a side brimming with confidence as they went straight on the attack.
Stuart Walker had an excellent early chance to take the lead for Ely only for his superb low shot to be beaten away by home keeper Ryan Bedingfield.
The home side were not entirely overawed however, and strike duo Ollie and Simon Mann produced a series of good chances only to be denied by a combination of errant finishing and good goalkeeping for Lee Pacey.
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Richard Chadwick has been an ever-present in attack for Ely this season and it was his alert work in the 36th minute that handed the visitors the lead.
Chadwick stole a march on goalkeeper Bedingfield as a lofted ball was floated into the box, heading home from close range.
The game remained an free-flowing affair into the second half and Brantham were unfortunate not to restore parity shortly after the hour mark as Josh Mayhew’s poked effort beat Pacey only to rebound off the foot of the post.
It wasn’t long before Mayhew was on the scoresheet however, as he latched on to another through ball to chip past Pacey.
As the game entered added time, the home side looked to have taken all three points as Ollie Mann stroked home from close range after his initial penalty kick was well saved by Pacey.
It was Smith who had the last say however, as Ely’s unbeaten run stretched into its 13th game.