Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Market Forces Eventually Win

Ely City are "The Robins" in red
Pay attention other clubs.  If you have signed any of these you may be at risk of expulsion from the Cup if they play - ask Mangotsfield United who were kicked out this week 

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Tuesday 20th September 2011 at The Unwin Ground, Ely
Ely City 3 (Lawrence 5, Murray 17,29)
Needham Market 4
(Thrower 4, Dalby og 26, De’ath 62, Chaplin 112)
After extra time
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round Replay.  The teams had drawn 1-1 in the first game.  Ely City play their league football at step 5 in the Eastern Counties Premier.  Needham Market moved up to the Isthmian D1 North (step 4) in 2009-10.
The nearest FA Cup replay at an unvisited ground this evening.
This match in one sentence
A gripping game in incessant rain that could have gone either way.
So what?
Needham Market are at home to Nuneaton Town in the next round.
Something random
Ely Cathedral dominates the skyline around this area, giving me a chance to skip back to 2005 in my photo album.

My senior team colleagues at Beaumont School, St Albans had bought me a flight experience as a leaving present – cue many jokes about one-way tickets and dodgy parachutes – but the reality was a trip from Duxford in a historic biplane - the Dragon Rapide.

Ely from the air in 2005
The drama unfolds
The match started in pouring rain, with most spectators huddled in the sheltered areas opposite the dugouts.  The rain was a constant factor – it eased a little at the start of the second half, but for both teams to produce this spectacle is a noteworthy achievement.  Compelling from start to finish for both partisans and neutrals.

After 4 minutes Needham Market were ahead.  The impressive Sam Newsom played in Danny Thrower, who steadied himself before firing in a good shot from just inside the area.  0-1

The lead lasted a minute.  Ely’s towering centre-back Ben Lawrence headed in from a high looping crossed free-kick.  1-1

Ely then went ahead after 17 minutes.  The ball was lost in the Needham midfield and Adam Murray seemed to have plenty of time to smash the ball into the net from a central position.  2-1

The fourth goal of the game was scored by an Ely defender, Adam Dalby, but unfortunately he poked it past his own keeper under pressure from Newsom.  2-2

Within three minutes, and still with less than half-an-hour gone, Ely had the lead again.  A long throw was only cleared back to the wing and this time the cross found Murray who headed in for his second of the evening.  3-2

After 35 minutes the Ely defence watched a Newsom shot bounce just wide and the visitors also created two good chances from rehearsed corner routines.  3-2 at half-time

Here is a glimpse of the conditions in the first half!

The rain eased slightly for a few minutes so I ventured to the far side of the ground.  As I walked behind the Ely City goal, keeper Lee Pacey kept his side in front with a fantastic fingertip over the bar.  The ref failed to notice the touch and gave a goal kick, so I was ideally placed for some banter with him about not taking the credit.  Needham Market had started the half brightly and were looking to exert their technical superiority.  However, it needed an error to give them parity as Pacey went from hero to villain as a swerving shot from Darcy De’ath eluded him.  3-3

This clip finishes with the illuminated tower of Ely Cathedral in the background.

Both sides had chances to win in normal time.  They both had effective long throwers.  De’ath saved a certain goal.  Ely’s Luke Parkinson had a clear shooting chance and shot first time, but over.  Then De’ath was superb again in defence and extra time beckoned.

Here are some clips that show some of Ely’s aerial threat.

3-3 at the end of 90 minutes

Long throws and other set pieces continued to be the biggest threat in extra time, for Needham Market too.  This clip is from the first half of extra time.

Needham Market’s Scott Chaplin (a sub, on the left) and Deakin Napier (on the right) started to find space.  With eight minutes left, these two combined.  Napier, not for the first time, rode and skipped a tackle near the halfway line and surged into space.  This time, his low cross met the inrushing Chaplin, who steered home his side’s fourth. 3-4

Ely gave it everything in the last few moments.  Look at this …

A great moment for Andrew Plummer in the visitors’ goal.  Unbelievably, Ely hit the post too with the last move of the match.  Despite the prospect of a two-hour drive home in the wet, I made a point of staying with the home fans to applaud their team off the pitch.  Final score 3-4 after extra time
All of them.  (Special mention though for Needham Market striker Sam Newsom who looked classy and unselfish on the night.)
A snippet from the programme
Tonight’s Match Sponsor: Anonymous Supporter
Well, whoever he or she is got good value for money!
What Next?
Something on Saturday – either an FA Vase tie or ticking off a step 2 ground up north, depending on the weather, or perhaps on something random.  Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for any developments!

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