NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Stone pleased with Ely City’s opening day display

Ely City manager Brady Stone was pleased with his side's display in their 0-0 draw with Saffron Wald

Ely City manager Brady Stone was pleased with his side's display in their 0-0 draw with Saffron Walden Town last night. - Credit: Archant

Brady Stone says there was plenty of positives to take from Ely City’s opening day draw with Saffron Walden Town.

The Robins held the Bloods to a 0-0 draw at the newly-named Ellgia Stadium on Tuesday night but manager Stone believes his men showed plenty of promise despite failing to find the net.

“For a 0-0 draw, it was a really good game,” he said. “It was a good one for the neutrals.

“It’s the first time we’ve got a point on the opening day for four years so I’m really pleased.

“Both sides had so many chances - in the first half it could have been 4-4. Both teams really went for it and I think overall a draw was a fair result.”

Stone was also impressed with new signings Ryan Williams, Nick Heap and Josh Williams, who were handed their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division debuts.

“The new boys who came in did really well – Ryan played well up front and held the ball up well and Nick had a good game on the wing,” he said.

Most Read

“They’ve all settled in really well but with the players we’ve got it’s not hard. The players have gelled well in pre-season so hopefully we can carry that on into the rest of the season.”

Stone also admitted he was relieved to see star striker Alex Theobald shake off an injury he received just minutes into Tuesday night’s match.

“Alex got clattered in the first 10 minutes but it was an impact injury,” Stone said.

“I was a bit worried initially because he’s had ankle trouble over the years but he didn’t roll it so hopefully he’ll be OK for Saturday.”

The Robins return to action on Saturday afternoon with an FA Cup extra-preliminary round meeting with UCL Premier Division side Holbeach United, and Stone says he won’t be afraid to rotate his squad – something he regrets not doing last season.

He said: “We’ve got nine matches this month, which is a lot, so we’re definitely going to use everyone.

“We didn’t rotate a lot last season but this year we’re not going to be so rigid and use the whole squad.

“There’s definitely goals in us. We had three one-on-ones on Tuesday and their goalkeeper got man-of-the-match so I think that shows that we are capable of creating and scoring a lot more than last season.

“We’ve been scoring well in pre-season so we’ll have to keep tight at the back but continue to open teams up.”