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Mitch Drewitt goal secures three vital points for Ely City as Thetford Town woes deepen at Mundford Road




A goal from Mitch Drewitt secured three vital points for relegation-threatened Ely City against Thetford Town this afternoon, ending a winless run that stretched back to December 2, writes Simon Staines.

At full-time, Ely joint manager Luke McAvoy punched the air with delight as he celebrated his first win since taking over with Ben Farmer at the end of December, as his side moved four points above the one relegation place.

Thetford’s run without victory now stretches to six games, as they produced a disappointing performance and can have few complaints at the result.

Thetford Town v Ely City - Goalscorer Mitch Drewitt and Thetford player-manager Matt MortonPicture: Marcus Barreto (28223784)
Thetford Town v Ely City - Goalscorer Mitch Drewitt and Thetford player-manager Matt MortonPicture: Marcus Barreto (28223784)

Town made five changes to the understrength side who were thrashed 7-0 by Stowmarket the previous weekend - including striker Andrew Wood, who re-joined the club this week - as they searched for their first win since mid-December.

Wood was heavily involved early on; he shot straight at Harry Reynolds when well placed on the edge of the area, before a fine cross-field ball found Johnny Conroy in space on the right, but his shot was easily dealt with by Reynolds.

Another fine Wood pass set Andrew Cusack free down the left-hand side. The Town wing-back cut inside the area and teed up Tanner Call, but from close range, Ely defender Nick Harrison blocked well.

Thetford Town v Ely City - Andrew Wood makes his return in a Thetford shirtPicture: Marcus Barreto (28223799)
Thetford Town v Ely City - Andrew Wood makes his return in a Thetford shirtPicture: Marcus Barreto (28223799)

That was as good as it got for the home side as they fell behind in the 12th minute. Drewitt found space behind the right hand side of Thetford’s defence, and with a clear run at goal, remained composed to finish low and neatly past Town goalkeeper Jamie Humphrey.

Five minutes later the visitors came close to doubling their lead. Harry McGregor laid the ball off to Harry French, whose fierce half volley was saved by Humphrey’s leg before the ball deflected onto the crossbar and out.

Thetford were at times playing too deep and struggling to get in behind the Ely defence and the visitors carried the greater threat.

The impressive Babacar Camara fed a ball towards the right hand side of the penalty area towards French, who cut inside and shot at goal, forcing a good save from Humphrey at his near post.

FOOTBALL - Thetford Town v Stowmarket Town..Pictured: Goalkeeper Jamie Humpfrey (T) makes a save....PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (27592206)
FOOTBALL - Thetford Town v Stowmarket Town..Pictured: Goalkeeper Jamie Humpfrey (T) makes a save....PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (27592206)

In the 53rd minute Ely spurned a great chance to go two goals in front. Thetford overplayed in their own half and gifted Ely possession. Camara fed Alex Knowles on the right, but with time and space, he fired wildly over.

The second half was scrappy at times, not helped by a gusty wind blowing across the Mundford Road turf. After 12 games without a win, Ely were defending their lead resolutely, with 10 players behind the ball at times and they snapped at Thetford heels.

Wood and Call both fired across the Ely goalmouth but Thetford struggled to carve out a clean chance until the 85th minute. Call broke into the Ely area and although his pass evaded Wood, the ball fell to Elliot Smith close to the penalty spot. With a clear sight of goal the Town captain struck his shot too close to Reynolds.

Thetford: Humphrey, Bond, Morton, L.Bailey, Cusack, Smith, R.Bailey, Melanson, Conroy (Sandell), Wood, Call

Ely: Reynolds, Ince, Brown, Walter, Harrison, Capel, Knowles (Crisp), Camara, French (Darling), McGregor, Drewitt (Harnwell)

* See next week's papers for reaction to the weekend's action.