07:00 Monday 06 January 2014

SLIDESHOW: Austen Diaper strikes late to seal Ely City's first home point

Written byMARC BAZELEY

Alan Alsop was left with mixed emotions as Ely were held to a 3-3 draw at home to fellow Thurlow Nunn League, Premier Division strugglers Thetford Town.

Austen Diaper’s late equaliser ensured it finished honours even after Thetford had taken the lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

It was the first point Ely have picked up at the Unwin Ground all season, but manager Alsop was left frustrated after his side let a two-goal lead at the interval slip.

“It really was a game of two halves,” said Alsop. “In the first half we were totally and utterly in control, playing really well and we put them under pressure.

“We were comfortable and on top, but in the second half it was totally different.

“This is why I think it’s a confidence thing with us. We played well for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but they got one back and we’ve gone to pieces.

“When they got two quick goals and made it 3-2, I’m thinking ‘here we go again’.

“That was two points dropped for me because it was a game we should have won, but it’s also our first point at home.”

A succession of early corners eventually paid off for Ely when James Seymour headed home one from Lewis McDonald.

Ben Lawrence bundled the ball home for Ely’s second soon after and they were still 2-0 up when the half-time whistle sounded.

Substitute Steve Harley got Thetford on the board before a Luke Catchpole double saw the visitors edge ahead eight minutes from time.

Diaper struck with a minute of the 90 to go and it proved enough to earn his side a point to end a run of 10 straight home defeats.

Haverhill Rovers manager Dean Greygoose was dealt another blow to his forward options after top scorer Andrew Ofosu was taken ill shortly before their match at Brightlingsea Regent.

Rovers were already without Ofosu’s strike partner Dan Cornwell due to injury and subsequently went down 4-1.

“Both were on a good run of form and both are out at the same time,” said manager Greygoose.

“It’s a shame because they were forming a really good partnership. The lads who came in for them played well, but we just didn’t look like scoring.”

Stuart Kingham had briefly given Haverhill hope after Brightlingsea took a 2-0 lead, but two further goals from the hosts secured the win.

Elsewhere, CRC suffered a 3-1 defeat away to runaway league leaders Hadleigh United. James Akintunde got the goal for the away side.

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