NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: City chief Stone insists strugglers cannot be taken lightly on Saturday

Ely City manager Brady Stone.

Ely City manager Brady Stone. - Credit: Archant

Boss Brady Stone insists Ely City must perform to their full potential in their first game for three weeks.

The Robins return to Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division action this Saturday when entertaining relegation battlers Ipswich Wanderers at the Ellgia Stadium, 3pm - and it is a match Stone will not take lightly.

City have not played since February 17 after seeing their last two matches – away to Coggeshall last Tuesday and Saffron Walden last Saturday – postponed. They were without a game the previous Saturday (February 24) and now aim to resume their campaign with three points as they bid to boost their hopes of remaining in the top 10.

Stone said: “We trained on Tuesday night and the boys put in a good shift which was good to see.

“Players can very quickly lose their edge when going two or three weeks without a game so we’re all looking forward to being back in action.

“It’s a game we want to win, but we will have to play to our full potential. Ipswich Wanderers are still fighting to stay up and their results have picked up lately.

“We’re sitting 10th at the minute and our plan is definitely to stay in the top 10. There are teams with games in hand who could overtake us, but we can only focus on our own performances and results.

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“We have some tough tests ahead against teams right up there in the table, but sometimes they are the games that we tend to turn up and perform better in.

“We’ve also got the county cup final to look forward to so finishing the season in the top 10 and with a piece of silverware would be fantastic.”

Stone has a host of injury concerns ahead of the Wanderers clash. Goalkeeper Harry Reynolds, brothers Sam and Lee Reed, James Seymour and Sam Goodge are all likely to miss the game.

Stone will draft in Ben Mayhew – a shot-stopper on a dual registration deal from Bury Town – to deputise between the sticks.

“We never seem to just have one or two injuries at Ely,” added Stone. “It’s always an injury crisis!

“But we’re lucky to have a strong squad with plenty of depth so I’m confident we’ll be able to cope.

“We also have a lot of good young lads in the reserves and I’m not afraid to call them in if necessary.”