Ely City riding high ahead of trip to league-leading Gorleston
Ely City are one of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division’s most in-form teams.
Only top-of-the-table Gorleston (16) and third-placed Mulbarton Wanderers (15) have amassed more points than the Robins (13) in their last six league outings.
And as a result Ely have moved into the division’s top 10, with Saturday’s 4-1 home win at the expense of bottom side Swaffham Town leaving them sitting seventh.
Joint boss Luke McAvoy said: “We’ve been brilliant. After the Newmarket game (a 1-0 win), me and Ben (Farmer, fellow manager) sat down and set a target of points for the next block of games.
“We’ve pretty much hit that, if not maybe even got a couple more.
“For a club like ours, with the budget and a small squad, we’ve probably overachieved but there is no reason why we can’t keep going.
“It would be brilliant if we can be in and around that top 10 at the end of the season.”
One of the reasons for Ely’s recent form has been the performances of striker Ryan Gibbs.
The signing from lower-league Diss Town found the net twice during the weekend victory, taking his tally to eight goals in just four appearances for the club.
“Ryan has been fantastic for us,” added McAvoy.
“He’s had a funny couple of years after doing well at Haverhill and moving to Cambridge City, where it didn’t really work out.
“He went to Diss to start enjoying his football again but really he needs to be at least at our level.
“Ryan is a lad that needs to feel like he’s going to be given a chance to prove himself as a number nine, and that’s what he’s doing for us.
“He’s full of confidence and it’s great to see what he’s producing.”
This Saturday throws up a daunting trip for Ely to Emerald Park to take on the leaders Gorleston (3pm).
The Greens have lost just once and recorded a 3-0 win over McAvoy’s side at the Demcom Stadium earlier in the season.
The size of the task is not lost on McAvoy, but he believes his team are in a much better place than they were for the reverse fixture in early October.
“We’re different now. It’s a more settled side – we’ve been able to put the same team out for the last five or six weeks and that’s massive for us,” he said. “There’s a real togetherness within the squad and that continuity has been important to recent results.
“We know it won’t be any easier this time and it’s a really tough match, but we’re more confident now and in a lot better position.
“It will be interesting to see how much of a difference it makes.”