Ely City 3 Great Yarmouth Town 2: It all goes wrong for Bloaters in closing stages

Great Yarmouth Town managers Adam Mason (left) and Martyn Sinclair Picture: Nick Butcher

Great Yarmouth Town managers Adam Mason (left) and Martyn Sinclair Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The Bloaters suffered an agonising last-minute defeat at Ely City after finding themselves two goals up early in the second half.

With the squad decimated by injuries and another departure, with Cain Eagleton leaving to join Yaxley, there were opportunities for reserve regulars Will George, who started in midfield, and Chas McAra, Joe Youngs and youngster Tom Lardner on the bench, while Lee Roots was given a first start at centre forward.

On a tricky surface Barnes had to be alert to make a few saves as the home side took the game to the bottom-placed Bloaters. The Robins should have taken the lead on 21 minutes when a free header for Holder from a corner went over the bar.

A quick break by the Bloaters saw a long range effort by Palmer hit the bar and Sanders’ shot on the rebound whistle over the upright. The home side should have been in front however but it was the visitors who scored first. Ford slipped a deft pass into Sanders who took a touch and fired in a shot that cannoned off the post and captain Ager was on hand to fire in the rebound on 38 minutes.

As expected the Robins came out in determined mood but with the half 13 minutes old the Bloaters scored a second goal when Sanders’ shot was deflected by a defender and the ball looped up and over Reynolds ,to the delight of the travelling supporters who had made the long trip.

The two goal advantage lasted a mere six minutes when a dangerous low corner was not dealt with and the ball was nodded home from close range. The rest of the game saw the Bloaters on the back foot as Ely went searching for an equaliser.

With five minutes left a long ball saw Howell in a foot race with a Robins’ player. The Bloaters man seemed to shoulder charge his man fairly, who took a tumble, and referee Ashley List not only awarded a free-kick but deemed the last man challenge to be a second yellow card offence and sent Howell off. Fortunately the free-kick on the edge of the penalty area flew wide but the bombardment continued and the home side were rewarded with an equaliser with four minutes of normal time left when Diejomach turned and hit in a shot through a crowded penalty area. Worse was to follow for the Bloaters as referee List missed what looked like a clear hand ball and a goalbound back flick by Walter found the net to complete the comeback for the Robins in the second minute of added time. Ager was sent off for questioning the hand ball incident to leave the visitors down to nine men for the short time that remained.

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Team: Barnes, Urry, Ford, Bartram, Ager (c), Howell, Palmer, George, Roots, Sanders, Savage.

Subs: Youngs, McAra, Lardner.