Robins jump above Rovers after Unwin Ground victory

HEADS UP: Haverhill centre-back Marcus Hunt (left) is challenged by Ely striker Alex Theobald
HEADS UP: Haverhill centre-back Marcus Hunt (left) is challenged by Ely striker Alex Theobald

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

PREMIER DIVISION

Ely City 2

Haverhill Rovers 1

There is nothing like a late defeat in wintry conditions to dampen what had been some growing momentum and optimism.

After a run of four straight defeats, during which time they scored just one goal, Rovers returned to form with back-to-back victories to nil in the league and cup.

Those results would have sent Ben Cowling’s side to The Unwin Ground on Friday full of confidence, but it was a disappointing display by the visitors, who after getting themselves back into the contest, were beaten by an 86th-minute goal.

The result saw Ely leapfrog Rovers, who now sit just five points above the drop zone as the business end of the season approaches.

“I thought Ely played well in the second half, but having got ourselves back in the game, we have to be seeing that out and claim a point at the very least,” said Cowling, whose team equalised after 83 minutes through new signing and substitute Jordan Palmer.

“The lads are honest enough to know we have let ourselves down a little bit.

“We have 14 big games to come. We are in a run of games where we need to be taking points. This was one of those, so that is frustrating.

“There is enough quality in the squad to keep us out of trouble, but you have got to get the points on the board.

“It is quite congested at the moment, but we still have ambitions of finishing in and around the top half. We need to get on a roll.”

The best of the first-half chances went the way of the visitors, with Ryan Weaver heavily involved.

The winger twice fired wildly over from good positions, while also seeing a powerful effort cannon against the post in the 38th minute.

However, the hosts awoke from their slumber after the restart and went in front in the 69th minute as George Darling’s effort proved to be too powerful for Rovers goalkeeper Charlie Turner.

To the away side’s credit, they hauled themselves level seven minutes from time when Palmer prodded the ball in from close range, but some lax defending from a long throw soon after saw Ely substitute Craig Neal lash in the winning goal.

Haverhill: Turner, Geoghegan, Gardner (Boddey 46), Milne (Newman 80), Holmes, Hunt, Weaver, Abbott, Jebb, Haines (Palmer 61), Bradley

Echo Man of the Match: Marc Abbott

Attendance: 89

n Rovers (16th) return to action on Saturday with a trip to Godmanchester Rovers (14th) (3pm).