NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Ely City are county kings after dramatic Cambs Invitation Cup triumph

Ely City celebrate their Cambs Invitation Cup victory. Picture: ELLEE SEYMOUR

Ely City celebrate their Cambs Invitation Cup victory. Picture: ELLEE SEYMOUR - Credit: Archant

Proud boss Brady Stone hailed his trophy-winning Ely City heroes.

The Robins lifted the Cambs Invitation Cup for the fifth time on Monday night – and their success at the Abbey Stadium could hardly have been more dramatic.

They came from behind to beat Cambridge United’s Development side 2-1 with all of the goals arriving in the final quarter of the contest.

Tom Knowles fired the United hosts, whose side included a host of young professional players, ahead with a 25-yard strike, but Ely responded superbly to stage a late turnaround as they were roared on by an army of more than 200 fans.

They were also helped by an inspired Stone substitution as Sam Reed levelled when turning in captain Jamie Alsop’s free kick in the 79th minute - only moments after being introduced from the bench.

Reed then saw another effort cleared off the line before City snatched a stoppage time winner as Deakan Napier put away a fine cross from another substitute, Sam Goodge.

Stone, who was a player when Ely lifted the same trophy in 2012, said: “Moments like this are what we all play football to enjoy.

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“It is something that will stay with us for a long time. The celebrations were absolutely brilliant.

“The lads are all good mates and that’s what gives us the great togetherness they showed to come from behind and win the game.

“They’re a really close unit. No-one is on big money at our club. They play for the shirt and for each other.

“The effort, desire and discipline from the lads was incredible. As soon as we fell behind we kicked on again and always believed we could get something.

“Once we got ourselves level it was all us and we managed to get the winner in the 91st minute.”

City have enjoyed fine success under Stone’s management. He guided the club to promotion in 2015/16 and led them on their best-ever run to the fifth round of the FA Vase last term.

They will now focus on finishing the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division season on a high after a difficult run of late. They have taken only two points from their last eight league games.

They travel to Kirkley & Pakefield this Saturday ahead of a home date against relegation battlers Ipswich Wanderers on Tuesday.

Ely City cup final squad: Harry Reynolds, Daniel Jeffrey, Jamie Alsop, Ash Walter, Tom Williams, Lee Reed, Alex Brown, James Seymour, Deakan Napier, Alex Theobald, Jamie Thurlbourne. Subs: Josh Sewell, Sam Reed, Nick Heap, Sam Goodge, Ben Mayhew.