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Difficult game to promotion-hopeful Brantham at weekend




BRIGHT FUTURE: Marc Abbott has said the team are in a phase of development and growth as they look to their under-18s to bolster the squad in rhw near future
BRIGHT FUTURE: Marc Abbott has said the team are in a phase of development and growth as they look to their under-18s to bolster the squad in rhw near future

Marc Abbott has admitted it does not get any easier for Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Haverhill Rovers, with this Saturday’s home fixture to Brantham Athletic (3pm).

It follows their ‘disappointing’ 2-0 loss on the road at Stanway Rovers at the weekend, meaning the team have recorded just only one win in their last nine league games.

But Rovers manager Abbott said he is not too concerned about the team’s recent ‘up and down form’, as he remains confident the side will continue to ‘pick up points’, including this weekend’s visit from third-placed Brantham.

He had high praise for the performance of youngster Jamie Judge on his starting debut on Saturday, alongside regular first-team player Rory Jebb, who linked up well against Stanway.

He said: “It will be a difficult game on Saturday absolutely, Brantham are an experienced side.

“But I think we have a lot of ability to disrupt and cause genuine problems to teams.

“We saw that against Stanway, Judge and Jebb linked really well as a pair and created a lot of opportunities.

“At the moment, though, we are finding it quite tough to score so we’ve been focusing on going back to basics.

“There hasn’t been a game recently where we have been dominated and the goals have been preventable.

“I’m happy with how we’re progressing as a side, despite the disappointing result on Saturday. If we stay organised and train hard, then the results will come.”

Abbott added that the 2-0 scoreline was not reflective of a game that saw Rovers in control for large portions, although they lacked the killer touch to win the game.

He had nothing but praise for Judge, who caused trouble all afternoon with his energy and dynamic play.

But, despite this, the visitors found themselves a goal behind in first-half added time, against the run of play.

Stanway thought they had doubled their lead with 52 minutes gone, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Eventually, the home team did double their advantage in fortuitous circumstances to seal the game in the 81st minute — as Marley Andrews’ attempted cross ended up looping over ‘keeper Evan Jeckells and into the far side of the net.

• Abbott said there were also a number of youth players, from the U18 squad, who were taking it in turns to train with the first team as the pathway from youth to senior improves.

“We have a really good batch of under-18s with us,” he said.

“That can only strengthen the squad in the future.

“But it is also a case of us being clever with how we manage their development, to make them the best they can be.”



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