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Haverhill Rovers have a busy festive period ahead

Haverhill Rovers' clash with Ridgeons Premier leaders Wroxham
dan cornwell

Haverhill Rovers' clash with Ridgeons Premier leaders Wroxham dan cornwell

The games are coming thick and fast now for Haverhill Rovers over the festive period, with manager Ali Shulver glad to have a fit squad.

The games are coming thick and fast now for Haverhill Rovers over the festive period, with manager Ali Shulver glad to have a fit squad.

Jamie Challis remains out with a groin injury and star striker Dan Cornwell will miss Wednesday’s (January 2, 7.45pm kick off) trip to Felixstowe and Walton United, but apart from that due to New Croft outfit will be at full strength.

However, he will be playing for tomorrow’s (Saturday, December 29, 3pm kick off) game at home against the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division’s in form side, last season’s runners-up Ely City, who have won their last six games (four in the league – excluding Wednesday’s, Boxing Day, December 26 – trip to Mildenhall Town).

Centre halves Marcus Hunt and Perry Moody will also return to shore up the defence that leaked four at home against Thetford Town.

“Ely are the form team at the moment,” said Shulver.

“They have had a bit of a shaky start like us, but now they have hit form and last season showed that they are a good team so this will be a tough game.

“For any neutral it will be a good game as we will be going for the three points as we always do and they will be coming here with the same ambition, so I imagine it will be quite a feisty affair.

“They have a lot of experience and Andrew Claydon up front who is scoring regularly (14 goals in as many games).

“I expect an aerial threat from their set pieces and from throw ins they’re quite lethal so we will need to be on our toes defensively.

“Without a shadow of a doubt they play a similar way to us in packing the midfield and getting the ball into the six yard box.”

After that game Rovers face a mid-week trip to Felixstowe and Walton United, though they will be without Dan Cornwell, who has scored 11 goals in 12 games – including a hat-trick in their last outing, the 4-4 draw when Thetford Town came to the New Croft on December 15.

Felixstowe have been inconsistent in their results recently, though are looking improved after a slow start.

“Felixstowe is always a tough place to go, especially on a Wednesday night as that’s a big commitment from the players, but we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves and take one game at a time,” added Shulver.

“Missing Dan (Cornwell) will be a massive blow for us but we had him missing earlier in the season and we can deal with it as we have players like Callum Harrison to step in and Craig Cutts has come in and played well, so we have one or two strikers who can fill in for that game.”

Shulver has seen three games postponed since he took the reigns as manager at the beginning of last month.

“It’s frustrating for any manager when games don’t get played as you pick a squad for a particular game, sometimes choosing certain players to help them get fitness, and you get ready and then you don’t play.

“I had the team ready for Godmanchester (Rover – postponed on Saturday) and suddenly that was off, so it does disturb the squad.

“It is hard to maintain momentum but it has been nice to get some training sessions under our belts and see how the boys respond and work.”

One of the ways is which Shulver is trying to change the team is by getting them to mix up the play, being less direct and reliant on Cornwell.

“I want to see the back four and the midfield start the link up and play football, as we know they can play and look after the ball.

“I want us to sometimes go long and sometimes go short, just mix it up and ask more questions of the opposition.”

For all the latest sport see Thursday’s (January 3) Echo.

 

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