Derby date and cup test awaits Haverhill Rovers and Haverhill Borough
Haverhill Borough begin a cup quest on Saturday that they hope will end at Portman Road, while Haverhill Rovers face a Friday night derby.
Borough face Touchline Suffolk and Ipswich League (SIL) Senior Division outfit Wenhaston United in the Suffolk Senior Cup second round at The New Croft on Saturday (3pm), having received a bye in the first round.
The night before, at 7.45pm, eighth-placed Rovers take on Newmarket Town at The New Croft. The Jockeys occupy sixth place.
Last season Borough missed out on the showcase final at Portman Road when they lost the semi-final on a penalty shoot out to eventual winners Waveney FC, but this time around they have targeted the competition as one of their priorities, starting with a match against a side without a league win and second-from-bottom of their division after seven games.
Borough player-manager Martin Westcott, whose side are currenlty third in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division, one level above Wenhaston, is taking nothing for granted however.
He said: “As I said to the boys, I checked out Wickham Market’s form last season when they were second bottom (in the SIL Senior Division) and they took us to extra time (Borough won 3-1 in the first round).
“You’ve got to turn up and play and beat these teams. You take them too lightly and they go a goal up and it gives them something to protect.
“We can’t be complacent. They are obviously in that league for a reason so they must be a good team.
“We would like to win the cup. It will be difficult this year when you’ve got teams like Stowmarket who are spending a lot of money and Lakenheath in it, and everyone knows how good they are.”
Borough will be without skipper Gareth Thomas, who must now serve a two match ban after his red card against Haverhill Rovers in the FA Vase.
Thomas aside, Westcott expects to have a full squad to select from.
Rovers meanwhile face an enticing derby with The Jockeys on the back of their impressive 2-1 win at Thetford Town, who before the match topped the table.
Manager Ben Cowling said: “I think Newmarket are a very good team. With their new ground and everything else they’ve got at the club you’ve got to count them as one of the top four teams in the division.
“Newmarket are a very good team but we’ve won four out of our last five in the league. We’ve beaten the teams that are second (Thetford) and third (Stanway Rovers) and drawn with the team that are fourth (Gorleston).
“We do seem to rise to the challenge. Hopefully we will rise to the challenge again.”
Midfielders Ben Bradley and Jonny Milne return to the squad after missing the win at Thetford but Rovers will be without Luke Latham (injured), Ben Burton and Marcus Hunt (both unavailable).