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Ely City beat Thurlow Nunn Leaguer Premier Division champions Histon to retain Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup




Manager Brady Stone is hoping that last night's successful defence of the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup can spur his Ely City players to preserve their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division status.

Up against a Histon side recently crowned Premier Division champions with five games to spare, the Robins were considered big underdogs to retain the trophy that they lifted 12 months earlier thanks to a 2-1 triumph over Cambridge United's Development side.

Indeed, on a Twitter poll run by Cambridgeshire FA before the Abbey Stadium final, just 15 per cent of people backed Stone's men to get the better of the Stutes.

Ely City's Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup final with Histon on April 10 at Cambridge United FC Ely Celebrate cup win Martin Grey, Jamie Alsop and Brady Stone Picture by Mark Westley. (8440746)
Ely City's Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup final with Histon on April 10 at Cambridge United FC Ely Celebrate cup win Martin Grey, Jamie Alsop and Brady Stone Picture by Mark Westley. (8440746)

However, they managed to upset the odds once again with another 2-1 victory thanks to a goal in either half from Ash Walter and Jack Saunders, with former Soham Town Rangers and Newmarket Town midfielder Simon Swinton replying for Histon late on.

Ely, who are without a game this weekend, will drop into the relegation zone if Long Melford win their game in hand against Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday, but Stone has challenged his team to make good use of the momentum gained from Wednesday's victory.

"It was a fantastic overall performance when you consider that Histon have absolutely dominated our league," he said.

"We know how Histon play and they like to get the ball into the box, so we set up to defend and then hit them on the counter-attack, which we did well.

"I cannot say any more about the lads. They gave me everything and deserved to win the game.

"Now it is down to us to get ourselves safe. The lads have shown what they are capable of but we are where we are because we have not done it consistently.

"We cannot control what the others around us do. We go into the last four games with a big win behind us and hopefully that gives us the confidence to complete the job."

Stone was also keen to pay tribute to Pam Oakey, the wife of club stalwart Derek who sadly died over the weekend.

"Derek is a massive part of our club – he has been involved for more than 40 years," added Stone. "Pam was such a lovely lady and it is obviously a really tough time for Derek and his family, but hopefully the win has put a little smile on his face."

Ely are the first team to have defended the CIC since they did it themselves in 2011/12 and 2012/13.

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