THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Ely City 4
Needham Market Res 0
Matty Simpson hit a 13-minute hat-trick as Ely City returned to league action in style with a 4-0 win over bottom side Needham Market Reserves.
A minute’s silence was held before the game on Saturday in respect of Phil Beeton, brother of Under-18s manager Dave Beeton, who tragically passed away last week.
In a very much one-sided game it was a 20 minute spell in the first half that did all of the damage.
The first 15 minutes was very scrappy as Ely struggled to get into any kind of rhythm.
Alex Theobald had a goal ruled out for offside and Spencer Saberton was denied by the goalkeeper when he probably should of scored.
Ely continued to press with a very young Needham side offering little in attack.
The breakthrough came after 23 minutes when Craig Neal weaved into the box and cut the ball back to James Seymour to finish from six yards.
The goal relaxed Ely and the goals flowed before half -time with Simpson grabbing a hat-trick in 13 minutes.
His first was set up again by Neal who laid the ball across the front of the area for the striker to sweep the ball low and hard in the far corner.
The second was the best of the games as a well worked move involving Liam Griffin and Lewis Hook allowed James Seymour to set up Simpson to curl the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box.
His hat-trick was completed in the 41st minute when a ball forward was not dealt with by the Needham defence and he pounced to strike the ball home from 18 yards out.
The second half saw Ely having all the possession but this could not be turned into anymore goals as chances were created but not taken.
Simpson had the ball in the net but was ruled out for offside and Sam Goodge went closest to scoring with the keeper denying him.
n Simpson was again on target on Tuesday evening as Ely threw away a two-goal lead as they were forced to settle for a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at Downham Town.
Simpson opened the scoring before Seymour doubled City’s advantage to give them a comfortable lead going into the interval.
However, the home side rallied after the break, dominating proceedings to reduce the deficit before adding a second to snatch a draw.
The result leaves Ely in fifth place in the table on 19 points, nine points behind leaders Wivenhoe Town who they face away on Saturday (3pm).