NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Positives to reflect on for Ely City despite heavy league defeat

Ely City joint-manager Luke McAvoy celebrated his and Ben Farmers first win in charge over Thetford

Ely City joint-manager Luke McAvoy celebrated his and Ben Farmers first win in charge over Thetford Town. Picture: DAN MASON - Credit: Archant

Ely City can still reflect on the positives despite suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of the league leaders on Saturday.

The Robins fell to a 7-1 reverse at Stowmarket Town in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, Harry McGregor grabbing a late consolation for the visitors.

Joint-managers Luke McAvoy and Ben Farmer are yet to record their first win in charge of City, having been outplayed at Greens Meadow.

"I wouldn't say we caved in," McAvoy said.

"We probably didn't get our side set up right to begin with.

"They're by far the best side in this league and they're probably good enough to play step four now.

"We're disappointed that we conceded goals quite early, but we've got no complaints.

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"The plan was to be more defensive, but that went out the window as they scored after about 10 seconds from kick-off. It made it a long afternoon."

This result leaves Ely two points above rock-bottom Hadleigh United ahead of welcoming mid-table Woodbridge Town to the Demcom Stadium on Saturday, 3pm.

However, McAvoy is confident his side can progress on a pleasing second-half response as they continue their survival fight.

"There's no real shame, but it would have been nice if we kept it (the score) more respectable," he said.

"We kept fighting, which is encouraging moving on.

"When you've been beaten like that, you've got to try and find a positive to keep the lads heads up.

"Even Stowmarket were complimentary in the way we kept going; they had to work really hard for those two goals.

"It's something we're working on in training all the time, trying to get the back four together more and the midfield closer so we're harder to score against.

"The way we defended in the second-half is how we have to defend all the time.

"The thing we will learn is that we do have to make sure we're fully switched on, start games better and be a bit quicker out of the blocks.

"It's more of a mentality, making sure we apply ourselves from the first whistle."

McAvoy has been boosted by the arrival of defender Dan Brown from Soham Town Rangers ahead of the Woodbridge game, and is expecting three new additions in the next week, including a defender and midfielder.