Pacey ensures Ely see off spirited Yarmouth
A REMARKABLE performance from goalkeeper Lee Pacey ensured 10-man Ely finished the season with a win over Yarmouth.
Pacey made no less than three crucial point blank saves when facing one-on-one situations and a string of other stops ensured Ely kept their noses in front despite losing centre back Ben Lawrence, who was given a straight red card for hauling down a Yarmouth striker when through on goal.
The win secured a solid 15th place in the Ridgeons’ Premier League for Ely, though their tally of 49 points is eight down on last season’s haul.
After a fairly placid start to the match, Ely moved into the lead after 26 minutes as an excellent drive from Nick Impey rebounded out for the keeper’s hands and into the path of Josh Bridgeman, who reacted smartly to bundle the ball home from eight yards.
The lively Bridgeman missed a golden opportunity to put Ely two ahead mere minutes later as his attempted flick from an Impey cross squirted wide to safety when a stronger touch would have sent the ball golaward.
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The miss was immediately forgotten however, when Sam Parkinson crossed high for defender Adam Murray to power home the Robin’s second with 29 minutes gone.
Yarmouth’s best chance of the half came with 10 minutes left but an advancing striker was denied a shot on goal thanks to a despairing, and superbly timed, tackle.
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Early on in the second half Pacey made the first of a string of fine saves, diving low to turn a shot from six yards around the post.
Brian Liston-Clarke went close for Ely moments later but couldn’t lift his shot over the advancing keeper before Pacey denied a Yarmouth striker when bearing down on goal.
Chris Sterecki shanked wide from close range from an Impey cross while at the other end Pacey made another two do or die saves as the match began to open up.
Ely’s nerves were finally settled in the 85th minute as Parkinson coolly slotted home a penalty after the Yarmouth keeper hauled down Richard Chadwick in the area.
With two minutes to go, Yarmouth finally scored the goal their efforts arguably deserved, a penalty kick smashed home after Lawrence fouled an advancing striker.