Robins must be more clinical

WARNING SHOT: Ely City boss Brady Stone
WARNING SHOT: Ely City boss Brady Stone

They may have ended their four-game winless run on Saturday, but manager Brady Stone has warned his Ely City players they must take heed of the warnings that came from the 2-1 victory at Walsham-le-Willows, writes Liam Apicella.

The Robins, who were yet to taste victory in 2018, dominated the first half at Summer Road, but despite creating a host of chances, they only took a one-goal lead in to half-time thanks to loanee striker Dan Brown.

Walsham duly punished that profligacy in the second half when Jack Brame equalised, though Ely did manage to claim all three points via Sam Reed’s late intervention.

Having not seen his side win since December 23, Stone was pleased to get back on track, but he has insisted they will not continue to get away with being so wasteful in front of goal.

“In the first half we were unplayable and created eight really good chances,” said the Ely chief.

“But from those we only hit the target twice and I felt like it was going to be one of those days.

“Usually, coming in 1-0 up at half-time I am happy with that, but I had a right go at them this time.

“I told them that missing those chances could come back to haunt them and it almost did.

“If you do not take your chances while you are on top, nine times out of 10 you will get punished.

“Dominating games counts for nothing in this league because teams will punish you.”

Stone is aware that this will be particularly true when his men host Coggeshall Town at the Ellgia Stadium on Saturday (3pm).

The Essex side, who are partly bankrolled by pop singer Olly Murs, have scored 88 goals in 27 league matches this term and conceded a division-low 17 at the other end.

“They are a good team and seem to be flying this season,” added Stone.

“We have not played them yet but I have only heard positive things.

“It is going to be a tough game but we tend to like playing the role of underdog and raise our game.

“It should not be that way — we should be up for every game, but hopefully it works in our favour this weekend.”

Jonathan Brown will serve the final game of his suspension against Coggeshall, while Alex Brown is a doubt because of a thigh injury.

On a more positive note, experienced left-back Jamie Alsop is available for selection after missing the win at Walsham, with centre-back Tom Williams set to return to the squad after an outing for the reserves.

Saturday’s match-winner Reed may be among the substitutes as he continues to nurse a tight hamstring that has plagued him since 
Boxing Day.