Haverhill Rovers and Haverhill Borough aiming to bounce back

FOOTBALL - Haverhill Rovers v Norwich United ''Pictured: Will Gardner ANL-160124-193826009
FOOTBALL - Haverhill Rovers v Norwich United ''Pictured: Will Gardner ANL-160124-193826009

Haverhill Rovers and Haverhill Borough will both be hoping Friday night is alright as they return to action looking to rediscover that winning feeling.

Postponements mean that Rovers’ Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division match at Hadleigh United (7.45pm) will be their first competitive action since they lost 1-0 at home to Norwich United on January 23 — some 20 days ago.

Borough host Needham Market Reserves at the New Croft tomorrow (7.45pm) six days after suffering their first defeat in nine matches and their biggest ever loss since joining the Thurlow Nunn League — 5-0 against Braintree Town Reserves.

Rovers will be without utility player Simon Newnes, set to be loaned to Kershaw Premier side West Wratting, the suspended Ty Alleyne, Leon Bailey (working) and defender/midfielder Marcus Hunt, who is attending ex-Rovers’ captain Paul Abbott’s wedding.

Will Gardner is due to play in a friendly for Suffolk under-18s tonight (Thursday), but boss Michael Shinn is hopeful the county will allow him to miss the match and be available to start at Hadleigh.

With central defender Nick Wilderspin only fit enough after injury to probably gain a place on the bench, Rovers’ player-manager Shinn will give a first start to centre-half Ian Bluett, who has signed from West Wratting.

“At the end of last season I watched Wratting a few times,” said Shinn.

“I think what he offers us as a central defender is very good pace and he reads the game well, so alongside Martyn Farrant he will look good. He just gives us a bit of competition at centre-half.”

Borough have a great chance to gain three points and go level with seventh-placed Leiston Reserves and banish the memory of the loss to Braintree as they take on the division’s bottom side.

Borough were defeated by a Braintree Reserves side containing four players with 62 appearances and 12 goals this season for the first team — currently one point off a play-off place in the Vanarama National League.

Braintree’s top scorer in the National League, Michael Cheek, scored a hat-trick against Borough, while Harry Anderson, on loan from League One Peterborough United, for whom he has made 17 appearances, also played.

A phlegmatic Westcott, who will be without skipper Harry Halls on Friday as he too attends Paul Abbott’s wedding said: “I wasn’t too down about it on Saturday, because what can you do, it’s out of your hands. There’s no point in crying over spilt milk.

“We have been playing excellently. We’ve only lost three since the end of September (18 games in all).

“We’ve got a great attitude and I think that reflects on the pitch and I’m certainly happy with it.”