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Biggest game in clubs’ histories




FIRST MEETING: Haverhill Borough hosted Haverhill Rovers in the Buildbase FA Vase in 2016 in front of an incredible 654 spectators (Picture: Mark Westley)
FIRST MEETING: Haverhill Borough hosted Haverhill Rovers in the Buildbase FA Vase in 2016 in front of an incredible 654 spectators (Picture: Mark Westley)

Haverhill’s derby captains know this weekend’s FA Cup tie is ‘absolutely massive’, with it due to be live streamed to potentially millions.

Haverhill Rovers host Haverhill Borough on their grass pitch at The New Croft on Saturday in the Extra Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup (12.30pm).

And the BBC have chosen the draw as the first they will broadcast live on iPlayer, with BBC Radio 5 Live’s Conor McNamara and Danny Webber poised to commentate. The FA Cup will also be at the game.

BOROUGH SIDE: Captain Casey Phillips (Picture: Gary Brown)
BOROUGH SIDE: Captain Casey Phillips (Picture: Gary Brown)

Borough’s new captain Casey Phillips said it was ‘probably the biggest game in the club’s history’ as he revealed the anticipation in the dressing room surrounding the fixture.

He said he hoped to see ‘more than a thousand’ spectators lining the pitch on Saturday.

“I don’t think you can get bigger than live FA Cup coverage and a derby match,” he said.

“It’s absolutely massive, any game against Rovers is a big one and the derbies have always been good games, so hopefully it can entertain.

“I have played in two of the three previous derbies and won them both, and the last was very dramatic with two late goals for us winning the game, so I would expect it to be a good game of football.”

He said that it would a ‘big honour’ to lead the team out on Saturday, having stepped up from the vice captain’s role following Jarid Robson’s departure to Mildenhall.

“It adds to the whole thing for me,” he said. “It’s a big honour to know I will be leading the team out.”

ROVERS CAPTAIN: Sam Holmes (Picture: Mark Westley)
ROVERS CAPTAIN: Sam Holmes (Picture: Mark Westley)

Rovers captain Sam Holmes echoed the sense of pride at leading his team out, as he acknowledged the significance of the match.

“There’s definitely a bit of pressure on all of us,” he said. “You try to treat it like any other game but it’s big.

“The cup games are the ones you really want to take part in as a player and with the cameras there it’s even bigger, it’s possibly the biggest game we have ever had.”

He said Rovers were keen to ‘settle the score’ on their head-to-head meetings, with Borough ahead having won two to Rovers’ one.

“They are a big threat,” he said. “But it’s still a chance to settle the score.

“We’re very much looking forward to it and we would love to go on a bit of a cup run.”

Both teams go into the match having lost their opening league games but neither captain felt this would have an impact.

“FA Cup is different, you just go for it,” Holmes said.



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