Haverhill Rovers look to strengthen squad as they put a ‘one-off’ behind them

Ayrton Coley has returned to AFC Sudbury after completing a loan spell at Haverhill Rovers
Ayrton Coley has returned to AFC Sudbury after completing a loan spell at Haverhill Rovers

Haverhill Rovers manager Michael Shinn believes the manner of Saturday’s 5-0 capitulation at home to Kirkley and Pakefield was a ‘one-off.’

Rovers head to fourth-bottom Wivenhoe Town on Saturday looking for their first Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division win since beating Mildenhall Town 2-1 on November 22, a run of seven games, four of them draws.

Against Kirkley, on a terrible playing surface, Shinn said his team uncharacteristically gave up at 3-0 down.

“We threw the towel in a little bit and we haven’t done that before and it was not like us,” he said. “With 20 minutes to go people were looking around and thinking what are we doing, why are we still playing.

“I am confident that was a one-off due to the conditions.”

Winger Ayrton Coley has returned to AFC Sudbury at the end of this 28-day loan, but Shinn hopes Dan Cornwell and Lee Kersey — who were both ill last Saturday — will return at Wivenhoe.

Rovers will also definitely be without midfielder Marc Abbott as he continues to serve a suspension, but Shinn has moved to strengthen the squad by putting in a seven-day approach for a midfield player — whose identity remains a secret.

Shinn said: “We are looking for a midfield player and hopefully we can get that done, but we will have to wait and see.”

With Coley having returned to AFC, Rovers now have no loan players at the club, but Shinn feels they have enough strength in depth within the squad.

Saturday’s match represents a chance for Rovers to complete a rare league double, having defeated Wivenhoe 2-1 on November 8 and to atone for last Saturday’s defeat.

Shinn said: “We go into every game wanting three points.

“We are probably about where we should be at the moment.

“Maybe we played a certain way and were successful but then we tried to tinker with it and results didn’t go our way, so maybe we have to look at that and see where we go from here.

“We will certainly be going into that game hoping to get three points.”