Broken Vase dreams as Ely hit back from Jama strike

Bethnal Green United 1 Ely City 3 Bethnal Green’s hopes of repeating last season’s progress in the FA Vase were shot down as goals from Richard Chadwick, Austen Diaper and Andrew Claydon took Ely into the fourth round.

The Greens reached the last 16 of the competition last term. But Kadir Jama’s goal proved nowhere near enough as the hosts lost out to the Eastern Counties Premier Division side.

Jama’s 26th-minute strike from close-range restored parity after the Greens had fallen behind to Chadwick’s opener.

Chadwick had put the visitors ahead after good work by Claydon, who chased what appeared to be a lost cause, before drawing out home keeper Andy Hall and sliding the ball across for his team-mate to score.

Hall then denied Luke Parkinson, before the Greens stepped it up and started to put Ely under pressure.

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Visiting keeper Lee Pacey was forced into a couple of saves, but there was nothing he could do to stop Jama from two yards out when the ball was parried into his path.

The goal should have triggered a switch in momentum and given Bethnal Green the hope to hit back.

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But they were rocked back on their heels when Ely restored their lead virtually straight from the kick-off.

Parkinson was allowed to make a run down the left and his deep cross found Diaper, who fired home to put the visitors 2-1 ahead.

The Greens did their best to force the issue after the break and can consider themselves unfortunate not to find a second equaliser.

Keeper Pace came to the rescue of Ely on several occasions, while last-ditch blocks also kept the hosts at bay.

The ball did indeed find itself in the net on 53 minutes only for the linesman’s flag to end the celebrations.

It proved to be a key moment as Ely responded to the threat by raising their game and Parkinson once again proved a thorn in Bethnal Green’s side by setting up Claydon to make it 3-1 just three minutes later.

The hosts continued to fight and forced a number of corners.

But too many hopeful shots went off target and the Greens were left to reflect on what might have been had they retained the initiative just a little bit longer after Jama’s leveller.

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