Students fail final test by a whisker

ELY SIXTH Form College s brave and extraordinary run in the under-18 County Cup ended in a narrow defeat in the final. Despite having a squad of only 15 players, Ely beat significantly larger colleges to reach the final played at the GER, home of March To

ELY SIXTH Form College's brave and extraordinary run in the under-18 County Cup ended in a narrow defeat in the final.

Despite having a squad of only 15 players, Ely beat significantly larger colleges to reach the final played at the GER, home of March Town United, where they faced Neale-Wade Community College.

The final was a close-fought affair and although the March team dominated early possession, the Ely goal was rarely threatened.

The game was decided by a goal just before the break when Neale-Wade broke upfield and Rob Spendelow fired the ball home.


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But the Ely team bravely fought back and the pace of James Doyle and Charles Pook began to cause problems for the Neale-Wade defence.

Doyle almost scored an equaliser when his effort hit the post and the bad luck continued for the Ely team, who hit the post and the crossbar before the final whistle.

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After the final, college director, Mark Sirot-Smith, said: "The team spirit displayed throughout this cup run has been fantastic. They never seemed to know when they were beaten but unfortunately the final was just a step too far.

"Despite losing, the players have a lot to be proud of and have been fantastic ambassadors for the college. Next year's team has a lot to live up to."

The Ely cup run began with victory over Orton Longueville School, Peterborough, in October. The game ended 1-1 and keeper Scott Connop proved to be the Ely hero in the penalty shoot-out.

Ely showed their fighting spirit against Stanground Sports College in the next round. Losing 1-0 at the break and down to 10 men, Ely were inspired in the second half and levelled the scores before skipper Charles Pook netted a last-minute winner.

Again, Ely trailed 1-0 at half-time when they took on Sawtry Village College in the semi-final. But Doyle's goal forced the game into extra-time and Pook hit two fine goals in the final minutes to secure victory.

Ely Sixth Form College squad: Scott Connop, Anthony Brumby, Luke Murfitt, Kevin James, Stuart Waddelow, Lewis Peacock, Ian Walters, Scott Holmes, Zerin Fairbanks-Gilbert, Joshua Harding, James Doyle, Charles Pook, Darryl Hughes, Thomas Bettison, Giles Hennebry.

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