THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Ely City 1
Woodbridge Town 0
Ely City’s hopes of securing promotion back to the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division were boosted by a 1-0 victory over Woodbridge Town at the Unwin Ground on Saturday afternoon.
A goal from midfielder Matty Simpson did the damage, but the Robins had to rely on the reflexes of goalkeeper Harry Reynolds, who made a couple of important saves to secure the three points for his side.
It is a seventh triumph in a row for Ely, who have not tasted defeat since they travelled to Great Yarmouth Town at the start of February.
After a frantic start to proceedings, hosting Ely scored what turned out to be the winning goal with 15 minutes on the clock.
A long throw from full-back Jamie Alsop was flicked on by Ash Walter for Simpson and he applied the finishing touch with his head from close range.
Brady Stone’s men were unable to convert any of the further chances they created before the break, while at the other end the defence dealt well with the threat of the Woodbridge counter-attack.
After the restart, Ely struggled to carve out any real opportunities of note, but there were no such issues for the visitors from Suffolk.
However, one effort was blocked by Ely’s James Seymour, with Reynolds producing two smart stops in quick succession.
Reynolds saved his best until the fourth minute of stoppage time, though, to ensure his side held out for the win.
Woodbridge goalkeeper Lay Fulcher ventured forward for a corner and it seemed his presence distracted the Ely defence as they left Mark Ray unmarked.
His strike from point-blank range appeared destined for the back of the net, but Reynolds stood firm to turn the ball on to the crossbar and away to safety.
This means that Ely continue to occupy the final promotion spot and are six points clear of their closest challengers, Halstead Town in fourth, with the two sides due to meet on the final day of the season.
Ely: Reynolds, Sewell, Alsop, Griffin, Littlefair, Saberton, Simpson, Walter, Theobald, Seymour, Neal.
n Before that encounter, Ely will travel to Essex for a clash with Braintree Town Reserves at Cressing Road on Saturday afternoon (3pm).
Braintree are currently 10th in the table, having won 13, lost 11 and drawn four of their 28 league outings this term.
When the two sides met earlier in the season at the Unwin Ground in late October, Ely ran out convincing 6-1 winners.
Simpson helped himself to a brace, with further goals coming courtesy of Alsop, Seymour, Alex Theobald and Sam Goodge.
After the clash against the Iron, Ely face league leaders Wivenhoe Town (H), followed by AFC Sudbury Reserves (H), Needham Market Reserves (A), Leiston Reserves (A) before that potential promotion showdown against Halstead Town.
It has been a fine turnaround and response from Ely, who 12 months ago,were languishing at the bottom of the Premier Division, resulting in relegation.