Football: Ely boss Stone hails side for Histon cup win

Ely City manager Brady Stone. Picture: IAN CARTER

Ely City manager Brady Stone. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Ely City defied the odds to claim cup glory once again on Wednesday night.

Brady Stone’s Robins reigned supreme at the Abbey Stadium, beating Histon 2-0 courtesy of Tom Williams and Jack Saunders to retain the Cambs Invitation Cup.

The contrast between the two teams could not be much greater, one battling for survival whilst the other has already secured the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division title, but it was Ely who ended victorious in front of a 350-strong crowd.

Speaking after the game, Stone was delighted for his players amid a tough season, saying: “I thought they were outstanding tonight.

“We rode our luck a little bit, but you need a bit of luck to win cups.

“We know we’ve got a good enough team on our day. Tonight, from every man, we were just fantastic.”

A tightly contested first period enjoyed its brightest spark, Williams heading in a Jamie Alsop free-kick from close range inside the opening 15 minutes, before Saunders slotted underneath Sam Roach after the break to send the Ely fans into delirium.

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Histon managed to grab a late consolation having initially cracked the woodwork and saw goal-line efforts scrambled from danger, but it was a resolute display nonetheless, which Stone dedicated to the fans.

“That was for them,” he said.

“We haven’t given them a lot to cheer about this year, but to win back-to-back cups and put in a good performance as well.

“We know Histon were going to come out second-half and bombard us and we had to deal with it, but we knew we could hit them on the break like we did for the goal.

“I know it hasn’t been great this year but they’ve stuck at it, so they deserve it.”

Young defender Joe Brannan produced a man-of-the-match performance for Ely, who also had goalkeeper Harry Reynolds to thank when pulling off numerous saves to keep the lead in tact.

And as the team take a break this weekend, there is time to celebrate but also regroup ahead of a vital run of fixtures.

“We’ve got a week off, so we’ve got a week where we can celebrate and enjoy it,” Stone added.

“I think Joe Brannan got man-of-the-match for a reason tonight; I thought he was outstanding.

“We perform like that in the last three games, we have a chance of staying up, simple as that.”