NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Ely City stung by last-gasp goal in cruel derby defeat
- Credit: Archant
Ely City boss Brady Stone was gutted after seeing his depleted side stung by a stoppage time derby decider.
The Robins slipped to a 3-2 defeat to local rivals Newmarket Town in a Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division clash at the Demcom Stadium on Tuesday night.
Stone's men twice held the lead over their big-spending visitors before finally succumbing to a last-gasp twist.
"I was absolutely distraught for the lads who gave their all," said Stone. "There's no doubt we deserved a point from the game before battling so hard from the first whistle to the last.
"The only criticism is we were guilty of conceding goals at bad times - just before half-time, shortly after going back ahead and then in the last few seconds which we didn't have chance to come back from.
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"But I have to be proud of the way my young and inexperienced team competed against a side who spend a hell of a lot of money."
The local rivalry was cranked up a notch 24 hours before they actually took to the pitch as Town signed attacking ace Jordan Foster from Ely although the player, who only joined City in the summer, didn't face his former club.
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City hit the front midway through the first half when Tom Williams converted a Jamie Alsop free-kick, but they were pegged back five minutes before the break by one of their former favourites.
Ex-City captain James Seymour restored parity and Newmarket then bossed much of the second half, although it was Ely who went back ahead.
Defender Daniel Jeffrey, who was operating as an emergency striker with Steve Holder suspended, Fisher departed and Sam Reed, Ryan Harnwell and Alex Theobald all injured, finished a slick move.
The lead lasted only three minutes as Seymour again haunted his former club and Newmarket then completed the turnaround in the dying moments when Ross Paterson volleyed in.
City's casualty list grew further last night as Michael Harvey was forced off with a hamstring problem and Jeffrey hurt his groin.
They are both doubts for a Saturday trip to Godmanchester Rovers, 3pm, when Ash Walter and Joe Brannan will again be missing.
Skipper Jamie Alsop is also unavailable while Holder is banned for two more matches.
Stone has made a couple of approaches for attacking players as he bids to boost his squad.
City drew 0-0 with Stanway Rovers in another Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division home clash last Saturday.
A trio of terrific saves from Harry Reynolds ensured the Robins collected a point and recorded a first clean sheet of the season.