Robins’ loss a ‘kick in the teeth’

Mark Westley Photography'Football action from Mildenhall Town v Thetford Town'Steve Holder and Thetfords Shane Leech. ANL-141129-211128009

Mark Westley Photography'Football action from Mildenhall Town v Thetford Town'Steve Holder and Thetfords Shane Leech. ANL-141129-211128009

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THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

PREMIER DIVISION

Thetford Town 2

Ely City 1

Brady Stone described Ely City’s defeat at Thetford Town on Friday as a real kick in the teeth in their fight to stave off relegation.

The Robins looked to be on course to gaining their third successive draw in the league thanks to a first-half strike from James Seymour, which was cancelled out later in the half by Halen Smith.

However, the visitors were made to pay for substitute Alex Knowles wasting two glorious chances late on when Shane Leech rifled home a shot from the edge of the box to snatch a winner for the hosts in the 84th minute and condemn City to their 18th league defeat of the season.

“It was the same old story for us and typical of our season,” said Stone. “I thought it was a bit scrappy and both teams could have nicked it, however, we wasted two glorious chances and to concede as late on as we did is a real kick-in-the-teeth.”

The Robins took the lead with the first real attempt on goal in the 13th minute as Dovydas Kargas saw his well weighted ball into the box met by the advancing Seymour, who nodded the ball past Scott Cruickshank in the Town net.

City’s lead last less than 15 minutes with Town back on terms by the 30th minute.

After producing several half chances in the minutes preceding City’s opener, the Norfolk outfit finally struck back in the 26th minute with Smith deflecting Sam Bond’s effort into the City net.

The Robins thought they had re-established their lead when Luke Brown lashed home in a goalmouth scramble, but the effort was quickly ruled out with the linesman flagging for an infringement in the build-up.

Having seen the officials rule out an effort, the Robins were thankful for the woodwork and the palms of Craig Galbraith for keeping matters level at the break.

A 35-yard piledriver from Alex McIntosh, which left everyone a gasp, cannoned back off the woodwork and into the feet of Shane Leech, but the diminutive midfielder saw his rebounded effort palmed over by Galbraith.

The early exchanges of the second half were far more entertaining than those of the first half with James Dean dragging a shot wide for Town and Liam Griffin had a shot hacked off the line for City.

As the half wore on it looked more increasingly that a draw was to be the final result with neither team carving out any clear cut chance until the 71st minute when Knowles, who was left faced one-on-one with Cruickshank, saw his shot kept out.

Just minutes later the City substitute went even closer to a late winner, this time his shot not only rolled past Cruickshank, but unfortunately the far post to.

Both misses were to prove costly as with just six minutes to play up stepped Leech to thunder home a drive from the edge of the box and with it snatch all three points for Town.

Stone’s side will look to avenge their narrow defeat at Town when hosting fellow strugglers Wivenhoe Town on Saturday (3pm).

“Wivenhoe is a massive game for us but we have got no pressure on us as there 
are still plenty of points to 
play for,” said Stone, whose side also host Great Shelford in the Cambridgeshire 
Invitation Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Elsewhere in the Premier Division on Saturday (3pm), Newmarket Town travel to Ipswich Wanderers and Mildenhall Town host Diss Town (3pm).