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Choat urges team to start taking chances

Haverhill Borough’s manager Anthony Choat has said the losing start to the season is ‘just bad luck’ as his side are playing well, writes Hannah Dolman.

He said the team had produced good attacking displays, particularly in the latest loss to Ely City on Tuesday night, and if they continued like that then relegation would be far from the team’s mind.

“We’ve played really well,” he said. “It’s not been a great start in terms of results and that’s been an eye opener for us.

“Last season in the First Division, if we played well, we won, so it’s all part of the learning curve of being in this league.

“A lesson that if you don’t take your chances, it doesn’t matter how well you play. We can’t grumble because we haven’t done this, but we will if we keep playing like this.

“There’s an element of bad luck as well, the team on top are not always the one that wins.

“So we have been a little unlucky but we need to start creating our own luck too. If we take our chances when they fall, we’ll have no problem staying in this league.”

It was a last-gasp victory for Ely City, who grabbed an added time goal to win 2-1 at The New Croft.

Despite having the majority of chances and possession, forcing six great saves from substitute goalkeeper Ben Mayhew, Borough lost on the stroke of full time.

Both of Ely’s strikes were superb, particularly the equaliser which produced a gasp of wonder from both home and away fans alike, scored by Jonathan Brown on his debut.

Borough manager Anthony Choat felt his side threw away a golden opportunity for victory, against a side who finished with 10 men due to a lack of substitutes.

“You have to take your chances at this level,” he said.

“We were in control of the game but it didn’t turn out the way it maybe should have. We were really good and created some great chances.

“You have to take advantage when you’re at home and we didn’t do that as well as we should. But we’ve learnt and will next time.

“I’m happy with the team I have, with Charlie Holmes back — but Craig Pruden, Casey Phillips and Sam Hawley were great too.

“There’s no need to panic, we have 43 league games this season. But if we match that performance then we will have a great year, I’m certain.

“We could and probably should have won that one though, it was end to end, exciting football.”

Borough went ahead after 23 minutes, when Holmes got on the end of a ball over the top and lobbed it over the advancing keeper Harry Reynolds — who was clearly injured.

From here, the home side became more dominant, looking the more dangerous team for the remainder of the game.

But a host of chances, particularly in the third quarter, did not bear fruit for Borough as Reynolds’ replacement Mayhew had a blinder in goal.

And Ely then went a step further, with Brown’s unstoppable half volley in the 75th minute followed by a last-minute goal in extra-time.

The winning goal, scored by Alex Theobold, was another great strike to smash Borough’s hopes of a first win.

Their next league game is on Tuesday, at home, versus Newmarket Town (7.45pm) but they first travel to Cricklefield Stadium on Saturday to take on Ilford (3pm) in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.

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