Cowling delighted with Haverhill Rovers season so far

Haverhill Rovers manager Ben Cowling, described captain Sam Holmes,' (left) display against Mildenhall as his best in a Rovers shirt.   
Picture Mark Westley ANL-161024-130616009
Haverhill Rovers manager Ben Cowling, described captain Sam Holmes,' (left) display against Mildenhall as his best in a Rovers shirt. Picture Mark Westley ANL-161024-130616009
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Rovers currently occupy eighth place in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division having won seven, drawn three and lost five of their 15 games.

Ahead of their trip to seventh-placed Great Yarmouth Town, who sit two points above them, Cowling said: “We are a third of the way through the league campaign and I think we are all delighted as a club with how we are going and I think we are going to get better as the team grows.”

In their latest outing, Rovers led table-topping Mildenhall Town for more than an hour only to lose 2-1 to a 96th-minute goal, and the disciplined nature of their display, during which they had to withstand almost continuous pressure, left Cowling pleased.

“We couldn’t have put that defensive display in without Marcus Hunt at the start of the season.

“If we can keep on improving with the young players we can only get better.

“Owen Boddey has been settled in at centre-half for the last couple of months. Mitch Burr has played a lot of games and Oli Stevenson has started the last five or six games.

“All the young players are getting more minutes and more experience and the more they get of that, the better it is for us.”

Cowling was delighted with the performance against Mildenhall of Jonny Milne, who in Hunt’s absence filled the defensive role in a midfield trio in which he was the eldest player at 23.

Cowling also gave particular praise to the display of skipper Sam Holmes in central defence.

He said: “That’s possibly the best I’ve seen him play in a Rovers shirt. He was absolutely immense. He and Ryan Geoghegan were outstanding against Mildenhall.”

Great Yarmouth will offer a stern test to Rovers’ away form this season, which has seen them lose just once in the league, but Cowling is confident they can continue their fine form on the road.

“They’ve been on a very good run. They did very well at Stanway over the weekend. It was only a 10-minute spell that undid them.

“Saturday is going to be tough, without question, but we are playing so well. Individuals are playing well and the team is playing well.”

Rovers have Hunt available on Saturday, but are without the injured Luke Latham (hamstring) and Owen Thompson (Achilles), while Owen Longley is working.

Burr continues his comeback from a groin injury with a run-out for the Under-21s tonight (Thursday) while Cowling is hopeful both Danny Hill and Boddey will overcome groin problems.

n In the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup, Haverhill Rovers have been drawn away to Walsham-le-Willows in the third round, with the tie to be played on Wednesday, November 30.