NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Friday nightmare for Ely City as they fall to defeat while relegation rivals pick up points

Striker Harry French (left) scored one of the goals, but joint boss Luke McAvoy (right) saw Ely City

Striker Harry French (left) scored one of the goals, but joint boss Luke McAvoy (right) saw Ely City fall to a 3-2 defeat against Thetford. Picture: DAN MASON - Credit: Archant

Ely City were plunged deeper into Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division relegation trouble on a nightmare Friday night.

Not only did the Robins throw away a two-goal lead when crashing to a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Thetford Town at the Demcom Stadium, two of their drop rivals both picked up precious points.

Joint City bosses Luke McAvoy and Ben Farmer collected their first success at the City helm in the reverse fixture against Thetford a month earlier - and they looked on course to repeat the trick in the return clash.

Luke Brown pounced on a rebound to fire City ahead before a fine Harry French strike doubled their advantage just after the half-hour, but it was downhill all the way from there.

Thetford halved their arrears just before the break and then turned the contest in the second half with McAvoy far from impressed with his side's contributions to the visitors' goals.

And he was even more frustrated when learning that rock-bottom Gorleston smashed Walsham-le-Willows 6-0 on the same night with second-bottom Hadleigh also earning a valuable draw at top-half side Woodbridge.

'We did the hard part but then threw it away,' admitted McAvoy. 'We got ourselves into a great position but were punished for giving away some cheap goals.

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'The manner in which we conceded all three was very disappointing.

'We have a player a free shot at our goal for the first one with no-one prepared to put him under pressure and put their body on the line.

'We left someone completely unmarked from a corner for the second goal and the winner stemmed from our own attacking free-kick.

'The lads knew afterwards that a big opportunity had gone begging. The dressing room was very quiet and everyone was very down.

'Wins are hard to come by when a team is struggling in a tough league so it's even more frustrating to lose from such a good position.

'With our result, Gorleston winning and Hadleigh drawing, the night couldn't really have gone any worse for us.'

City remain third-bottom of the standings but are now only four points above both Gorleston and Hadleigh.

Both of those teams have three matches in hand on the Robins, who head to top-six side Brantham Athletic this Saturday, 3pm.

McAvoy added: 'We've got to try to pick ourselves up and focus on the future.

'Going to Brantham is certainly a tough one but we've then got some winnable games ahead.'