Sunday, April 5, 2009
On Tuesday night Ely take on the ambitious Leiston FC, who are arguably enjoying their most successful season since they were founded in 1880.
Leiston were promoted to the Eastern Counties League in 2001 and reached the Premier League in 2004. This season they have been chasing promotion and at the time of writing are in third place behind Lowestoft and CRC, although they are 16 points behind Lowestoft.
This season saw them have their best run in the FA Cup when they reached the first round proper and were the lowest ranked club to do so. They got their after beating Conference club Lewes in a replay away, 3-1. A win that added to their opponents financial troubles. In the first round they played Conference North team Fleetwood Town in front of a record home crowd of 1250. Unfortunately, it was not to be their day and if they had overcome Fleetwood and beaten Chesterfield in the second round they would have set up a mouth watering derby against Ipswich Town. However, it was not to be.
It was also a great year for them in the FA Vase where they also got further than they had before, going down away to another Step 5 club, Hungerford Town of the Hellenic League in the 4th round.
One thing is for certain the next few years are probably not going to be as quiet for them as the first 119!