MATCH REPORT: Late strikes seal Ely City’s first league win in four games

Sam Reed netted Ely City's second in their win over Wivenhoe Town. PHOTO: Ely City

Sam Reed netted Ely City's second in their win over Wivenhoe Town. PHOTO: Ely City - Credit: Archant

Two late goals from Sam Reed and substitute Luke Mansfield secured Ely City’s first Thurlow Nunn Premier Division win in four games.

With three minutes of normal time left, Reed was first to meet full-back Spencer Saberton’s cross at the front post, and he nodded the ball home past Wivenhoe’s Ben Gallifant.

Mansfield grabbed his first goal of this season’s campaign when he ran onto a long ball over the top, and slotted the ball underneath Gallifant to secure the Robins all three points.

It was the visitors Wivenhoe who caught the Ely defence sleeping early on, when Adam Hampson took the ball past Harry Reynolds and easily slotted the ball into an empty net to score six minutes into the first half.

A repeat of the first goal almost came a few minutes later when Juan Lopez picked out Hampson who beat Ely’s back line for pace yet again, but just couldn’t managed to get on the end of the long ball forward.

Lopez almost went from provider to goal scorer when he unleashed a wicked shot from 30-yards-out, but that rose over the crossbar.

Robins full-back Spencer Saberton levelled the game up midway through the first half, when he smashed home Theobald’s header that bounced back off the crossbar into the penalty area.

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A beautiful one-two between Theobald and Ashley Walter played the forward in, who squared it across the area and Wivenhoe’s Tim Dennis almost turned it into his own net but Gallifant’s quick reactions managed to prevent the own goal.

Ely made a double change inside the second half with Daniel Jeffrey and Theobald making way for Craig Neal and Mansfield. Neal almost made an instant impact when he met Alsop’s cross at the back post, but he headed the ball just over.

With Robins winger Kelvin Enaro coming close on three different occasions in the last ten minutes, it looked like it Ely would have nothing to show for all their chances.

This was quickly proven wrong, when Reed headed home his fifth goal this season from Saberton’s brilliant cross in to the front post.

Two minutes from time, Mansfield chased down a long ball over the Dragons defence. Gallifant was apprehensive on whether to stay on his line, and Mansfield made him pay the price as he poked the ball under the keeper to wrap up the game for good.

The result put an end to Ely’s run of four games without a win, and also meant that Wivenhoe are now without a win in their last seven league games.