Tough at the top
RIDGEONS LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION Ely City 1 Walsham-le-Willows 2 ELY S promotion fate was taken out of their hands by two early screamers which saw Walsham leapfrog them into second place and end City s 12-match unbeaten run. The top of the table is extreme
RIDGEONS LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION
Ely City 1 Walsham-le-Willows 2
ELY'S promotion fate was taken out of their hands by two early screamers which saw Walsham leapfrog them into second place and end City's 12-match unbeaten run.
The top of the table is extremely tight with the top five teams dropping few points and, despite City suffering only their fourth league defeat of the season, they were left clinging on to the final promotion spot with Saffron Walden Town just one point behind them with a game in hand.
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An unstoppable volley from the edge of the box gave the visitors an early lead and a 35-yard thunderbolt made it 2-0 in the 12th minute of Saturday's match.
Ely dominated possession from then on, but found the visitors to be well organised and disciplined in defence.
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Robbie Mason worked tirelessly up front, but found little space.
Left-back Jamie Thurlbourne forced the Walsham goalkeeper into two good saves from free-kicks, and City continued to create half-chances and come close with shots from distance.
Ely manager Dennis Lightning switched his team to a 3-4-3 formation, for the last 20 minutes, with Tom Beech and Anthony Blandford joining Mason and Nick Impey in attack, and captain Andy Chatters and Richard Dewsbury leaving the field of play.
Mason scored with a header at the near post from a corner in the 89th minute to give City a glimmer of hope, but it proved to be too little, too late.
Lightning said: "Walsham scored two cracking goals but we bossed the game from then on. They deserve a lot of credit because they defended very well.
"That was our first game for two weeks, and we were not as sharp as we usually are, so we were clearly suffering from a bit of rustiness.