NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Back to basics approach has helped Ely City avoid relegation, says boss Brady Stone

Striker Alex Theobald hit both goals as Ely City beat Great Yarmouth Town 2-1 last Saturday.

Striker Alex Theobald hit both goals as Ely City beat Great Yarmouth Town 2-1 last Saturday. - Credit: Archant

Brady Stone insists that a ‘back to basics’ approach has helped his Ely City side beat the drop in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

The Robins beat top-10 side Great Yarmouth Town 2-1 last Saturday to mathematically secure safety and Stone has attributed their recent climb up the standings to a more traditional tactical set-up.

“We’ve gone back to basics, started passing the ball a lot more and there has always been two or three options for every pass, which is good to see,” he said.

“In the first half against Yarmouth we were fantastic. They’ve got the best away defensive record in the league but we played some great football and deserved to win.

“They put a little bit of pressure on us and got a goal right at the end but it was a good win for us and to say we have stayed up is fantastic.”

Stone also praised goal-scoring hero Alex Theobald, who notched both of Ely’s goals Saturday’s success – a double that saw the striker take his tally to 20 in 39 games.

“Alex has had quite a funny season,” Stone said.

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“It took him a while to settle after having a few injuries early on but for him to score 20 goals in his first season at this level is a great achievement.

“I think since Sam Reed has come in and played alongside him we’ve got the best out of him. He played on his own and out wide at the start of the season but he and Sam really play to each other’s strengths.”

Stone’s men travel to Wivehoe Town this Saturday (3pm) and the Robins’ boss says he could tinker with his starting XI this weekend with Ely’s Invitation Cup final against Cambridge City just around the corner – and admitted he is already making plans for next season.

“We will look to rest a few players ahead of the final,” he said.

“We’ve kept the same team for quite a few games lately so we’ll make a few changes to keep the players fresh.”

“We’ll aim to stay up again next season but if we can keep the squad together and strengthen a little bit then there’s no reason why we can’t finish in the top 10.”