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Youngsters shine for Robins

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Ely City were missing nine first-team players for Saturday’s trip to Great Yarmouth Town, but a batch of youngsters – including 16-year-old twins – stepped up to the plate in the impressive 3-0 victory.

Ely City v Felixstowe and Walton..Brady Stone Ely manager..Picture Mark Westley. (4059741)
Ely City v Felixstowe and Walton..Brady Stone Ely manager..Picture Mark Westley. (4059741)

The Robins’ starting line-up included youngsters like goalscorer Tom Thulborn and Alex Brown, while Jordan and Owen Johnson both made their senior debuts as second-half substitutes.

Frontman Sam Reed also helped himself to a brace on the Norfolk coast, but manager Brady Stone was particularly pleased with the impact made by those with less experience.

“We were missing so many players, but the lads that have come through our under-18s did really well,” said the boss.

“We do not have a lot of money at Ely so we need good players in our youth set-up, which thankfully we have.

“Importantly, we are not afraid to put them in and give them a chance.”

With regards to the Johnson siblings, who last year were playing for Ely’s under-16s, he added: “The game had gone well so we decided to get them on in the second half.

“I had seen them play and knew they were good enough, so there were no concerns about them.

“Their energy was unreal and both of them were very composed on the ball. It was great to see the senior lads go up to them at the end and include them in our group.”

Thulbourn’s goal – his first at Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division level – was also a source of delight for Stone.

“It was really good to see him get a goal to his name,” he said.

“Tom did really well for us in pre-season and scored some goals, but he has been in out of the team because Sam (Reed) has played as the main forward.

“He played slightly wider at Yarmouth, did really well and deserved his goal.”

Next up for Ely is a trip to Newmarket Town in the FA Vase on Saturday (3pm).

Stone’s side go into the contest having beaten their neighbours 2-0 earlier in the season.

* In the First Division North, Lakenheath were 3-1 winners over Diss Town on Saturday thanks to goals from Matt Hayden (2) and Kelvin Enaro.

Winger Enaro scored again on Tuesday along with Aaron Turner, but Lakenheath were beaten 4-2 at Downham Town.

Ben Cowling’s side host Needham Market Reserves on Saturday.