Simpson nets stunning 13-minute hat-trick as the Robins run riot

Ely City FC v Needham Market Reserves,

Ely City FC v Needham Market Reserves, - Credit: Archant

Ely City’s newest recruit Matty Simpson announced himself in the best possible way by scoring a 13 minute hat-trick on his home debut as the Robins returned to league action in spectacular style with a 4-0 victory Needham Market Reserves on Saturday.

A minute’s silence was held before the game in respect of Phil Beeton, brother of Under 18s manager Dave Beeton, who tragically passed away last week.

A twenty minute spell in the first half that did all of the damage for the Robins, as a relatively young Needham side failed to deal with the Robins’ attacking threat.

The first 15 minutes was very scrappy affair as Ely struggled to get into any kind of rhythm. Alex Theobald had a goal ruled out for offside and Spencer Saberton was denied by the keeper when he probably should have scored.

Ely continued to press and an inexperienced Needham side offered little in attack. Ely’s breakthrough came after 23 minutes when Craig Neal weaved into the box and cut the ball back to James Seymour to finish from inside the box.

The strike relaxed Ely and the goals flowed, with Matty Simpson grabbing a stunning hat-trick in 13 first-half minutes.

His first was set up again by Craig Neal, who laid the ball across the front of the area for Simpson to strike the ball low and hard in the far corner. The second was the best of the game; a well-worked move involving Liam Griffin and Lewis Hook allowed James Seymour to set up Matty Simpson to curl the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.

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Simpson’s hat-trick was completed four minutes before the break when a ball forward was not dealt with by the Needham defence and Matty Simpson pounced to strike the ball home from 18 yards out.

The second half saw Ely having all the possession but the home side couldn’t add to their four goal haul.

Matty Simpson had the ball in the net but a fifth goal for the striker was ruled out for offside and Sam Goodge went closest to scoring with the keeper denying him, but no further goals were scored and Ely ran out 4-0 winners.

New signing Simpson gained the post-match plaudits after the former Soham United striker’s treble, and rightfully so according to Robins’ boss Brady Stone.

He said: “He’s settled in really well and all of his goals were excellent so it wasn’t a bad home debut for him.”

Speaking of his side’s win, Stone said: “In the first twenty minutes we seemed to be over doing things. We almost tried too hard.

“Once the first goal went in we managed to settle down and have a good twenty minute spell where we scored our goals.”

The rout sees Ely claim 5th place in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League First Division, staying above Diss Town on goal difference.

Ely will be looking to boost their promotion push when they travel to strugglers Downham Town tomorrow night, but won’t underestimate their opponents, according to Stone.

“Downham are very good at home. If we approach the game in the right way then we’re more than capable of getting the win,” he said.