NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Substitutes star with first City goals as Ely complete incredible comeback
- Credit: Archant
Ely City produced a sensational comeback to snatch a vital Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division victory last Saturday.
Substitutes Rukky Diejomoah and Josh Lowe both struck their first Robins goals in stoppage time as bottom side Great Yarmouth were beaten 3-2 in an Ellgia Stadium thriller.
It looked being an afternoon to forget for Stone’s men when they fell behind in the first half and then saw their deficit doubled by a wickedly deflected strike in the second period.
But they responded with a rousing fightback which was launched when recent signing Steve Holder got the final touch to a Jamie Alsop corner.
Great Yarmouth were then reduced to 10 men and City made their numerical advantage count during an incredible climax.
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Diejomoah levelled with a smart finish after an Alsop long throw was flicked into his path and there was still time for Lowe to put away another Alsop corner which was headed back by Alex Batten.
Great Yarmouth were then reduced to nine men in the aftermath of that winner while City were left to celebrate a dramatic success.
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“We never do things the easy way at Ely City,” joked boss Stone.
“I remember an incredible comeback against Clacton in my first season as manager when we were also behind going into stoppage time but scored twice to win 4-3 with our keeper Lee Pacey getting the winner from the halfway line.
“Saturday was very close to that in terms of drama, but it was more important given the situation we’re in and the significance of the game against the bottom team. I called it a must-win game and we just about managed to get the job done.
“We played well in the first half but didn’t take our chances. I wasn’t overly concerned at half-time but started to fear it might not be our day when we conceded a freak second goal.
“The lads responded by rolling their sleeves up when they could so easily have chucked the towel in. They showed what they are all about.
“The desire, commitment and character shone through and qualities like that can definitely get us out of trouble and I could not be more proud of my players.”
City now face a daunting run of three successive fixtures against top-six sides, starting with the visit of Kirkley & Pakefield to the Ellgia Stadium this Saturday, 3pm.
Stone’s men then go to third-placed Stowmarket the following Saturday before visiting second-placed Godmanchester Rovers on Boxing Day.
Stone added: “No-one will expect us to get results in the next three games so any points we do pick up are a bonus.
“I’ll be telling the lads to go out and enjoy their football while playing without pressure.”
* Boss Andrew ‘Spud’ Lee has resigned as boss of the Robins’ reserve side for health reasons.
Number two Paul Jeffrey has also stepped away from the Cambridgeshire County League side. Under 18 boss Ross Elliott has been put in temporary charge until Christmas.