Remembering where we once were.
Eighth tier Leek Town finished third in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South, three points adrift of winners Halesowen Town last season.
The Blues, from Staffordshire, once had their day in the sun though when they played in the Conference National division in the late nineties.
The part time outfit, despite finishing nine points from safety at the end of the 1998/99 season, even embarrassed Doncaster Rovers along the way.
The sides met twice within a week over the festive period, firstly at Belle Vue for their initial meeting.
Former Rovers striker Ernie Moss – who netted 15 times in 44 games while wearing the famous red and white – led the visitors to a spectacular victory against Ian Snodin’s men, who were relegation rivals at the time.
The hosts, with only two league wins in thirteen attempts, regrettably had no answer Dale Hawtin’s goal on the stroke of half time.
Rovers didn’t have so long to seek revenge however, as teams regularly reversed fixtures over the festive period and, such was the nature of the Conference at the time, Leek was one of Doncaster’s closest games!
Glenn Kirkwood put the visitors ahead at Harrison Park after eleven minutes, before Hugh McAuley’s 56th minute penalty shared the spoils and saw Moss’ men take 4 points from a possible 6 against his former employers.
That was as good as it got for Leek who went down again just a couple of years to their current level. They did resurface in the seventh tier as a result of a restructure before coming close to going out of business in 2006.
Though a consortium secured the clubs financial future, they were relegated to Division One South and have been there ever since, despite odd shots at the play-offs.
*Glenn Kirkwood breaks in to the Leek penalty area on Boxing Day ’98. Though Rovers lost 1-0, the young forward was to score in the return*