Seasiders 5 Ely City 1

Thurlow Nunn League

Premier Division

Saturday 7th October 2017

  

Where do I begin? What can I say…

Thank you, each and every one of you, what a fantastic turnout on Non-League day. For us to get almost 600 through the turnstiles for a league game is just phenomenal, and shows just how far the club have come in the last twelve months.

Clubhouse packed 2 hours after final whistle, snack bar sold out, and everyone (I think) enjoying the experience, even the away support, although not the result, of course.

Best story of the day came from the turnstiles; it was ‘Pay-What-You-Want’ at the gate and Goody Bag for the first 100 kids through the turnstiles. First four through the gate were season ticket holders, so they get free entry. All paid a fiver! One person with two youngsters paid 49p and received two goody bags! Another paid £80 and said ‘Keep the change!’

It’s all wonderful, people doing their thing and then getting entertained on the pitch - a superb afternoon!

Football Matters…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were a few raised eyebrows when the team sheets went up; just one change from the side that beat Stanway Rovers on Tuesday - Joe Francis, who was unavailable was replaced by Stefano Mallardo, which meant club captain Rhys Barber was named as one of the substitutes, having missed the midweek fixture due to his young babe being taken ill. Happily, mother and baby were in attendance at the game, all fine and dandy. There was no Jordan Matthews, who was out injured, or Josh Kerridge - unavailable, so theoretically, a real tough encounter, with supposedly a ‘weakened’ side. I said at the beginning of the season we would need 16/17 players capable of playing in a variety of roles, and Saturday was a great example. Over a 46 league game season, plus cup games, you need a strong squad who are able to cope with a variety of problems.

Having said all that, in the first half it looked at times like a group of strangers playing together, and full credit to Ely who had a high work rate, willing to chase and harry for every ball.

The visitors were ahead after just seven minutes, having already forced a corner that gave Tom Williams a free header at the far post, but he was too high with his effort. Ely worked the ball down the left with the lively Sam Reed showing some excellent control, before squaring the ball low and hard to Alex Theobold, eight yards out, and his snap shot had Danny Crump beaten by the pace of the ball.

Over the first 45 minutes the Seasiders had what I would call three half chances, two from Miles Powell that were off target, and one from Nick Ingram that Harry Reynolds saved at the expense of a corner, but the lion’s share of the play and the better openings came at the other end, and had the visitors opened up a two goal gap, it may well have been a different outcome.

Ashley Walker’s free kicks and corners into the area were a constant threat to the home defence, with Williams heading one effort over the bar when well placed, & Sam Goodge getting a similar result from another good opening. Danny Crump had to produce a save to deny Walker from another free kick as Ely pressed, but the second goal didn’t come and at the break the home side went in a tad relieved!

The second half was a whole different game. The Seasiders took a firm grip right from the start, forcing the pace and forcing the visitors onto the back foot. The Robins conceded two corners in the opening two minutes of the half and the goal that looked likely came in the 50th minute, when firstly Nick Ingram collected then looked to have lost a long through ball, but then produced an excellent finish from 18 yards, low into the bottom corner of Reynolds’ net. It pulled the sides level, and two minutes later the Seasiders were ahead. Reynolds tipped a long range speculative effort from Callum Bennett over the bar for a corner, and from Stuart Ainsley’s flag kick the ball was only half cleared to Stuart Boardley, 15 yards out, who volleyed the ball back past the visitors’ ‘keeper to put his side ahead.

There was plenty of jubilation with that goal, and just after the hour, the home side increased their lead from the penalty spot when Reynolds clipped Ingram’s ankles trying to get to the ball, and the striker got up to despatch the spot kick past the ‘keeper.

The goal killed off any resistance the Robins had, as the Seasiders played relaxed football and in the 74th minute a jinxing run down the right by Bennett took him past three players before squaring the ball to the tireless Scott Chaplin, who helped it on its way to Ainsley who lashed the ball past Reynolds from 18 yards.

It was left to Powell to perhaps score the goal of the match with five minutes left, when he struck a free kick with venom past the wall & into the net, with Reynolds a spectator. It completed the scoring, to send the supporters home happy and hopefully wanting more!    It would certainly be nice to get around 600 for every home game, and with performances like the second half of this game, who’s to say they won’t!

In the unreported world, there was a fracas and ‘handbags at ten paces’ incident midway through the second half, with tempers frayed and frustration creeping in - at the end of the melee, the referee selected the main protagonists and produced three yellow cards to calm it all down as the game got back underway.

  

No midweek fixture this week but a Friday night out in Kirkley, and big news - the home game against Coggeshall has been put back to March, due to their Vase opponents playing their game on a Sunday, meaning a free week for the Seasiders, unless of course we draw our vase game at Wisbech!