Hares must forget Ely horror show

AFTER an encouraging start to their Ridgeons First Division campaign, March Town United were brought back down to earth with a bump on Tuesday evening. A 7-2 defeat at Ely City is the Hares first league defeat of the season and although March manager, Al

AFTER an encouraging start to their Ridgeons First Division campaign, March Town United were brought back down to earth with a bump on Tuesday evening.

A 7-2 defeat at Ely City is the Hares' first league defeat of the season and although March manager, Alan Russell was disappointed with the midweek result, he is not worried.

He said: "Ely deserved the win but I think the scoreline flattered them. We made mistakes particularly in defence and if we had taken early chances then the story of the game could have been different."

The heavy defeat came just three days after March's first win of the season, at home to Long Melford. The Hares thoroughly deserved the points after creating most of the goal-scoring chances in a very good performance.


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Ashley Brand's opener in the second half was cancelled out by a deflected free kick from the visitors. With the game heading for a draw, substitute Lawrie Brand ended a fine move to give March the points.

However, it was a different story on Tuesday. Michael Couzens, Marc Welcher and Ashley Spendelow were all unavailable due to work commitments and the Hares suffered from fielding a changed side.

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Paul Shafer spurned an early opportunity to open the scoring and the referee would have been hard pushed not to award a penalty had Teddy Rimmell gone down, rather than try to stay on his feet after a clumsy challenge in the area.

However, Ely made the most of the missed chances and opened up a two-goal lead before Ashley Brand scored a terrific goal to put March back in contention.

But the game slipped away from the visitors in a devastating 15-minute spell before the break, in which Ely took advantage of defensive frailties to go 5-1 up.

A second goal from Ashley Brand after the break gave the Hares something to cheer but City continued to take their chances and netted two more.

Russell said: "There is nothing we can do about the result now. We just need to move on and learn from it.

"Before the game I was looking to get at least two points from our next two away games so now we need to make sure we win at Gorleston on Saturday. I am quietly confident we can get a result there."

Russell admitted he is still planning on strengthening the squad. He said: "We need to add some strength in depth and I hope to bring in a couple more players."

Ashley Spendelow and Lawrie Brand are both unavailable for the trip to Gorleston.

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