Planters let lead slip
Norwich United went down 4-2 at Ely. The Planters saw their half-time lead as their inability to defend set pieces cost them dear.Ben Furlong, signed from Dereham Town, was the only change to the team that saw off Fakenham Town last Saturday.
Norwich United went down 4-2 at Ely. The Planters saw their half-time lead as their inability to defend set pieces cost them dear.
Ben Furlong, signed from Dereham Town, was the only change to the team that saw off Fakenham Town last Saturday. Jake McCabe was the unlucky player to step down to the bench.
The Planters soon found themselves behind when they failed to clear an early Ely corner and Richard Chadwick fired through a crowded box from the left in the seventh minute.
Chadwick almost doubled the home lead after a quarter of an hour but this time he fired wide of the near post.
It was all Ely and after 20 minutes Grant Robins got in behind the Planters' defence but Ben Nower did well to force him wide and from a very acute angle his shot flew across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
The Planters finally started to get into the game after half an hour's play and a quick break down the left saw Matty Robinson release Tom Youngs in the box but the stikers shot was blocked by home keeper Lee Pacey.
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Lee Hunter was next to open up the home defence with a superb crossfield pass to Paul Atkins but the cross into the box was just ahead of the inrushing Planters.
Youngs had another chance moments later, this time from a Tom Jeal pass, he managed to take the ball wide of the keeper but hit his shot wide of the near post with Atkins well placed for a pass.
Nower was called into action at the other end when Jamie Alsop's deep free kick was headed goalward at the far post by Adam Dalby and Nower did well to tip over for a corner.
The Planters were level three minutes before the break, Furlong threading a lovely ball from deep on the left into the area where Robinson was on hand to tuck home past Pacey.
The Planters took the lead in the third minute of first-half injury time. Referee J Marin angered the home fans by awarding the Planters an indirect free-kick for a backpass. The ball was touched to Atkins who blasted a shot into the wall. Hunter was first to react to the loose ball and crossed from the right for Darren Coe to head home from close range.
Ely were determined after the break and Jamie Wilson had to make a strong tackle to deny a shooting opportunity while at the other end Atkins was set free down the left but his shot went wide of the near post.
The Robins were level in the 56th minute when they were awarded a penalty after the ball struck Steve Shipley from close range, Grant Robins converting with a strong strike which Nower managed to get his hands too but couldn't prevent crossing the line.
Just after the hour mark the Planters were denied the lead by good last-ditch defending firstly Youngs flick header from a corner was cleared off the line and just a minute later another corner was half cleared to Jeal whose firm shot appeared to be heading for the top corner only for a superb header clear to deny him.
In the 76th minute Ely took the lead. A long throw on the left was flicked on at the near post and Robins was unmarked in the box and netted from close range to double his tally.
Things went from bad to worse three minutes from time. With everyone waiting for Nower to clear from hand, the referee pointed to the corner flag and from the ball in Ben Lawrence had an easy task to head home and seal the points.
Another day with better finishing and better defending from set pieces and three points could have returned on the team bus but for the second season running the Planters returned from Ely with nothing having been in front.
Ely City: Pacey, Dixon, Alsop, Stone, Lawrence, Wallis, Dalby (Sterecki), Warren, Robins (Beck), Fielding, Chadwick. Unused Subs: Carter, Impey.
Norwich United: Nower, Shipley, Furlong, Wilson (McCabe 72), Coe, Squires, Hunter, T Jeal, Atkins, Youngs (Claydon 67), Robinson. Unused subs: Southgate, Anderson.
Referee: J Marin. Assistants: N Jordison and M Hollick.