Late goal denies Bloaters

Ely City 1, Great Yarmouth Town 0THE Bloaters were very unlucky not to come away with at least a share of the spoils on Saturday, a scrappy late goal robbing them of a point.

Ely City 1, Great Yarmouth Town 0

THE Bloaters were very unlucky not to come away with at least a share of the spoils on Saturday, a scrappy late goal robbing them of a point. They now face a trip to Debenham LC tomorrow (3pm ko.)

It was rough justice at Ely after an excellent effort by the whole team. However, Yarmouth had enough chances to win comfortably, and with their effort and commitment can count themselves very unlucky.

After a fairly even start, Yarmouth created the first chance. From a corner, Stuart Roach was unlucky when his header went just wide. The game ebbed and flowed from one end to the other with both teams cancelling each other out.

On 15 minutes Yarmouth produced a good flowing move, playing the ball across the pitch. Dale Crane took the ball on the right and sent in a great ball towards Nick Crawley, who just failed to get on the end of it. Again Crawley had a chance when he collected a ball deep in the opponents' half, and with just the keeper to beat was very unlucky to see his shot go narrowly wide.

Two minutes later the Robins had their first chance when Mark Paul attempted to chip Elliot Pride in the Yarmouth goal, but his effort was just over.

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At last the game was starting to warm up, and Yarmouth had another chance when, on 25 minutes, after some good work by Mark Thompson on the left, the cross was just a fraction in front of Crawley.

On 30 minutes Tommy Gardiner made a last-ditch tackle and cleared the ball to safety. Yarmouth then produced a good move which ended with Roach having a shot cleared off the Ely line by Tony Brown. With half-time fast approaching Yarmouth had their best chance of the game when the impressive Crane sent in a great ball from the left which Roach latched on to, only to see his effort come back of the foot of a post.

Yarmouth were doing all the attacking, and just on the 45-minute mark some good work involving Jonathan Watt and Crane allowed Paul Dyer to venture forward to try his luck, but his shot was just over and the teams went in at half-time 0-0.

It was 20 minutes into the second half before the first clear-cut chance. Winning a throw, Crane found Paul Dyer and his cross was met firmly by Roach whose header went narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

Yarmouth were again on top and had their opponents pegged down for long periods.

The next chance should have produced the opening goal on 70 minutes.

Crawley, from a run down the left, floated in a great ball for Mark Thompson who, with time to spare, saw the goalkeeper off his line and chipped him - only to see the ball rebound back of the bar.

It was beginning to look as if it was not going to be Yarmouth's day and they would to have to settle for a draw.

On 75 minutes Ely had a rare chance when their No 9 Robbie Mason latched on to a good through ball and was one-on-one with Pride in the Yarmouth goal. However, Pride stood tall and produced a cracking save.

With the game heading towards a stalemate, and with 80 minutes on the clock, manager Cruickshank made the first of three changes when he brought on Adam Sewell who replaced the hard-working Crane.

Two minutes later Liam Bartley replaced the excellent Mark Thompson. Both sides were now going for it but it was still Yarmouth who looked the more likely to get a winner.

In the last 10 minutes Jonathan Watts was booked for a late challenge and Yarmouth threw on their last sub in an attempt to win the game with Ben Le Compte replacing Steven Taylor.

With 87 minutes gone disaster struck when Ely, on one of their rare excursions into the Yarmouth half, scored a scrappy goal.

With the ball pinging around the area, Ely's No 9 stretched to toe-poke the ball past the excellent Pride.

Team: Pride, Watts, Dyer, Taylor, Gourbould, Gardiner, Crane, Sullivan, Roach, Crawley, Thompson. Subs: Sewell, Le Compte, Bartley.

Tom Campbell