Two points dropped after lacklustre Rovers display

GOAL-SCORER: Stanway Rovers were able to hold on to a 1-1 draw, as well as goal-scorer Jordan Palmer's coattails
GOAL-SCORER: Stanway Rovers were able to hold on to a 1-1 draw, as well as goal-scorer Jordan Palmer's coattails

Haverhill Rovers manager Ben Cowling has blasted his team’s most recent performance as ‘terrible’ after they drew 1-1 with Stanway Rovers.

Cowling assessed the performance of his team in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division draw as ‘not acceptable’, particularly the passing, which saw the team unable to ‘string two or three passes together’.

Although he conceded that the team improved immensely in the second half and were closest to taking the lead, it was still ‘two big points dropped’.

He said his forwards had been ‘unlucky’ not to convert one of the chances in the second half.

He said: “It’s definitely frustrating, particularly the series of misses in the last quarter.

“We’ve not won enough games at The New Croft and that’s another two big points dropped.

“We had enough chances, particularly in the second half, but they’re just not going in at the moment.

“Sometimes it’s just the way it is, at least they are getting in there. And Lawrence (Healey) was very unlucky to hit the bar. So we have to stay patient and our luck will eventually turn.”

He highlighted a turning point midway through the second half, when Rory Jebb was pulled down.

The referee appeared to play advantage, which then led to calls for a penalty as Jebb seemed to be brought down in the box, but a free-kick was awarded.

Stanway’s Gelashvili was cautioned, but the resulting free-kick came to nothing.

Cowling felt this should have been a red card, as he saw it as a professional foul.

“It’s not the referee’s fault though,” he said. “It was a key moment, but it’s not like there weren’t other chances.

“We were marginally better in the second half and should have taken maximum points.

“We face Hadleigh next Saturday and I’m wanting and, in fact expecting, to get three points.

“We’ve put too much pressure on ourselves by dropping two points here.

“We got off to a great start to the season but it’s gone a little wrong recently, and we need to turn it round.

“We want to make sure we push on to a top eight finish and we’re a long way off that at the moment.”

He said that Ben Bradley would likely make his return and be available for the weekend, although Aaron Forshaw was still several weeks away from fitness after damaging ligaments in his ankle.

“We’ve been missing them,” Cowling said. “But there’s nothing we can do about it really.”

The first half was light on chances for both sides, despite the only goals coming in the final five minutes of the half.

Stanway took the lead, against the run of play — Rovers had the lion’s share of possession throughout the game, mostly confined to the midfield.

Toby Blanche scored for the visitors, giving Charlie Turner little chance of stopping the shot between the posts. The ball fell to him in the box and he fired it in from close range in the 41st minute.

But Haverhill responded quickly and on the stroke of half-time Kelvin Enaro made a great run down the right wing before crossing to Jordan Palmer.

He scored a half volley, which was slightly behind him, to keep his side in the tie.