NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Bad break for Ely City winger adds to the misery of disappointing home defeat

Injured Ely City star Nick Heap. Picture: ELY CITY FC

Injured Ely City star Nick Heap. Picture: ELY CITY FC - Credit: Archant

Ely City have been rocked by another major injury blow.

Wideman Nick Heap suffered a broken ankle in the club’s Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division defeat at the hands of Thetford Town last Friday night.

Heap had only just been introduced as a substitute during the second half at the Ellgia Stadium when he fell awkwardly and had to be withdrawn.

Scans at hospital the following day revealed a double-break and Heap now faces eight weeks in plaster.

It’s another big loss to City who have already seen midfield ace Jamie Thurlbourne ruled out for the season with cruciate ligament damage.

“We’re all gutted for Nick,” said City boss Brady Stone. “I don’t even think he had been on the pitch for a minute when he fell awkwardly.

“He drove home, but then went to hospital the next morning and found out the ankle was broken in two places.

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“By the time he is out of plaster, has done his rehab and got back up to fitness, he is going to miss a massive chunk of the season.”

The serious injury to Heap added to the misery for Ely on a night when they suffered a first home defeat of the season.

Substitute George Darling hit a late consolation in a 2-1 loss and Stone pulled no punches in a damning assessment.

“We were very poor,” added Stone. “We only had one shot all night and our goal came from that.

“We were completely non-existent. It looked like we were just going through the motions.

“If I had paid £7 to watch that performance, I would have been asking for a refund so I apologise to any fans who turned out and witnessed it.”

City handed debuts to two new recruits against Thetford. Long-term midfield target Charlie Brown, who arrived from Cambridgeshire County League side Cambridge University Press, and former Histon forward Rukky Diejomaoh both went into the Robins’ starting XI.

Ely make the long trip to the East coast to face Brantham Athletic on Saturday. The Suffolk side are unbeaten in the Premier Division but have only completed three league games due to cup commitments.

They will be without frontman Sam Reed, who is away, while wideman Deakan Napier is taking a break from football for personal reasons.