Derby thriller to wrap up year: Haverhill players itching to beat rivals in ‘best of three’ fixture
Haverhill’s footballers are itching to get another crack at their New Croft neighbours when the two sides meet in their final fixture of the calendar year.
The two Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division sides will meet for third time ever on Friday evening on Borough’s 3G (7.45pm).
Both teams currently share the victor’s spoils, following a 2016 FA Vase match —Borough won it 1-0 — and the first of two league fixtures this season.
It was Rovers — at home — who most recently took the plaudits as they claimed the 1-0 victory on November 3 to level the head-to-head to one win each.
But now the teams have a chance to get ‘one up’ on the other with a best of three victory.
And it is a challenge both teams’ players are excitedly awaiting.
Rovers defender and U18 coach Jemel Fox said: “I think it will be a totally different game, both teams are much hungrier than we were in November.
“It’s also fallen at a time of year where it seems symbolic to win — it would be a great way to finish the year and go into a new one.
“It’s a fitting way to finish 2017 and it would be a brilliant way to wrap up Christmas too.
“And it will show us how far we have come since.
“We took the win then but it wasn’t a great game of football, and both teams are on much better runs too.
“It won’t be easy, as Borough are dangerous in attack and score plenty of goals.
“Although I think we score more against the top 10 sides. I hope it will be a better game and that we come out on top.
“There’s definitely plenty of excitement in the squad.”
The match was originally scheduled for September 29 but was abandoned before kick off due to a medical emergency in the crowd.
Borough defender Sam Hawley said that the wait had intensified anticipation of the meeting, with the sides waiting ‘a long time to play’.
It is a game he said ‘everyone wants to play in’.
He said: “We all try and play at the absolute best all the time but Rovers is a massive game.
“It’s the local derby and it’s exciting. And they also beat us in the first game so we want revenge.
“We are near the bottom so the town will probably expect Rovers to have the edge.
“But we are starting to improve, so we’re in a good position. The pressure is on them again.
“We’re just going to give it everything and perform at our best. I think we’re two quite evenly matched sides so it will be interesting.
“And it will probably come down to whoever wants it most. I know I do.”