Theobald brings up goal number 20 as Ely preserve league status

TWO-GOAL SALVO: Alex Theobald bagged a brace for Ely in their home victory over Great Yarmouth
TWO-GOAL SALVO: Alex Theobald bagged a brace for Ely in their home victory over Great Yarmouth

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

PREMIER DIVISION

Ely City 2

Great Yarmouth Town 1

Ely boss Brady Stone — a defender during his playing days — has admitted he would have dreaded marking a striker like Alex Theobald, writes Liam Apicella.

The attacker scored 22 goals in Ely’s First Division promotion campaign last term, having made the jump up from the Cambridgeshire County Leagues with Fordham.

And he is on course to surpass that tally a level higher, with his brace against Great Yarmouth on Saturday taking his tally for the season to 20 in all competitions.

“As a centre-back, I would have hated playing against someone like Alex,” said Stone.

“I had not heard of Alex before he came training with us a couple of years ago, but as soon as I saw him, I knew we had to sign him.

“He does not stop and is one of those busy strikers. He is constantly closing the ball down and that is a nightmare for defenders.

“He seems to be in the right place at the right time, which is one of the main reasons behind his fantastic record.

“The two goals against Yarmouth were top quality and summed up his season.”

The victory over The Bloaters mathematically secured Ely’s Premier Division status with four matches left to play.

However, with a county cup final against higher-league Cambridge City to come on Monday, April 24, Stone is not expecting the season to fizzle out.

“Once a team achieves its target, it can be easy to go through the motions,” added the boss.

“But we have a cup final in a couple of weeks, so it is business as usual.

“I have a good, honest bunch of lads as well so we will keep going — everyone will want to start such a big game.”

Before that, on Saturday, Ely travel to relegation-threatened Wivenhoe (3pm) — a side that pipped The Robins to the First Division title last season.

That is followed on Easter Monday by a home encounter at The Unwin Ground with Newmarket Town, who won February’s reverse fixture 4-3 (3pm).