Robins on the rise: excellent Ely City secure promotion to Thurlow Nunn Premier Division with twelfth straight league victory

Ely City celebrate their promotion to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division after their 2-1 win over Lei

Ely City celebrate their promotion to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division after their 2-1 win over Leiston Reserves. - Credit: Archant

Ely City secured their promotion back to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division at the first time of asking thanks to a 2-1 success over Leiston Reserves – their twelfth straight league win.

The Robins were forced to wait until the weekend for their rise in class after Halstead Town eased past Cornard United 4-0 last Tuesday, but their promotion party got started early against Leiston’s second string when Craig Neal fired the visitors ahead after just three minutes.

Ely’s perfect start continued just 10 minutes later, when Alex Theobald slotted home his 21st goal of the season from the spot after the striker was felled in the box.

Unperturbed by the Robin’s dazzling start, Leiston threw men forward, but Ely carved out the more meaningful chances in the first half through Matty Simpson and Spencer Saberton.

The second half brought the appearance of 16-year-old right back Joe Brannan, who was brought on for the injured Daniel Jeffrey, and the youngster was involved straight away as he was forced to clear a Leiston effort off the line.

The Robins were unable to hold off the hosts’ pressure, and conceded their first goal in 569 minutes of league football when Aaron Thurlow slotted in past Harry Reynolds.

Brady Stone’s men then survived a scare when a Leiston effort hit the woodwork, but the Unwin Ground outfit were able to hold on for their twelfth consecutive league which sealed their passage back into the Premier Division.

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Ely, who can secure second spot with a point against AFC Sudbury Reserves on Wednesday night, remain three points behind league leaders Wivenhoe Town, but the Essex side can tie up the league title if they can beat Debenham LC tonight.