NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Plenty of respect but no fear for Ely City ahead of county final

Ely City boss Brady Stone.

Ely City boss Brady Stone. - Credit: Archant

Manager Brady Stone insists Ely City will play without fear in the Cambs Invitation Cup final.

The Robins face Cambridge United’s Development side at the League Two club’s Abbey Stadium on Monday (7.30pm).

It’s a second successive appearance in the county showpiece for Stone’s men after they were beaten 4-1 by Cambridge City last term.

And they’ll go into the contest in a positive mood despite a run of eight Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division matches without a victory.

Stone said: “There’s no doubt we’re the underdogs, but we’ll go into the game with no fear and look to enjoy the occasion.

“From what I’ve heard we’ll have more than 100 fans behind us and we’ll try to make it a good night for them.

“The Cambridge side have beaten strong non-league teams Histon and Cambridge City in the last two rounds and we’ll pay them respect.

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“They will be capable young footballers who will look to move the ball, but we have to strike the right balance between stopping them playing and looking to hurt them ourselves.

“We know we can be a dangerous team. We create plenty of chances and hopefully we can put a couple away.”

City lost 3-0 to title-chasing Felixstowe & Walton at the Ellgia Stadium last Saturday.

They performed much better than the scoreline suggests with Alex Theobald missing a glorious chance moments before the visitors hit the front.

The Robins responded with a goalless draw at Saffron Walden on Tuesday night.

Stone’s men against missed chances and received a lucky escape early in the second half when their hosts missed a penalty.

Stone added: “We should have been 3-0 up ourselves against Felixstowe – even their players admitted that. But it was the same old story of not putting the ball in the net.

“We also created numerous opportunities at Saffron Walden in what was a really good game. I’ve got absolutely no idea how it stayed 0-0.

“We felt justice was done with the penalty, though. We all thought Dan Jeffrey had made a good tackle to win the ball.

“We had a chat with the players in the changing room after the game last night and everyone was very positive.

“We’re playing well and the lads are still working hard even though we’re coming to the end of a long season.

“Our main aim was simply to stay up and we’ve done a lot more than that.”