BREAKING NEWS: Wisbech Town will apply to join United Counties League if promotion bid fails

Wisbech Town clashed with UCL promotion hopefuls St Ives Town in the FA Vase this season.

Wisbech Town clashed with UCL promotion hopefuls St Ives Town in the FA Vase this season. - Credit: Archant

WISBECH Town will apply for a “sideways move” to the United Counties League if they fail to win promotion this term.

The Fenmen, who sit fourth in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, five points behind leaders Dereham Town but with a game in hand, announced the possible league switch today.

A club statement, issued by chairman Barry Carter, said: “Firstly, our primary aim is still to gain promotion to Step 4 at the end of the season. The options listed below only become relevant if that objective is not reached.

“After a query was raised at the AGM in January about a ‘sideways’ movement to the UCL, a tentative approach was made to see if such a move was a feasible proposition.

“The reaction of officials at the UCL was favourable and all parties considered it would be a good move which would both cut travelling and create several local derbies against teams such as Holbeach, Yaxley and Peterborough Northern Star.

“Any ‘sideways’ move is out of ours and the UCL’s hands as the FA at Wembley have the final say regarding which league each team is allocated to.

“There are five potential leagues in which we could be playing next season; any one of the three Step 4 Leagues (should promotion be achieved), the United Counties League at Step 5 or the Eastern Counties League at Step 5.

Most Read

“Any move within Step 5 is purely an option at this stage.

“For the moment, everyone at the club is concentrating on ensuring that come the summer, we are waiting to see which Step 4 league we are placed into.”

Steve Appleby’s side clashed with UCL high-flyers St Ives Town in the second round of the FA Vase in November. The sides could not be separated at Westwood Road as they played out an entertaining 2-2 draw after extra time.

The Fenmen eventually saw off the Saints, who sit second in the UCL and are eyeing promotion themselves, 2-1 in the replay at the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium.

Wisbech have played in the Eastern Counties league - which has been sponsored by Jewson, Ridgeons and now Thurlow Nunn - since 2002.

Before that, the Fenmen contested the Dr Martens League, in both the Eastern and Midlands Divisions.