Final game victory sees Rovers side secure mid-table position in league
Haverhill Rovers clinched a 12th place finish in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, with a 2-1 home win over Whitton United in their last game of the season.
It was a case of winner takes all in the mid-table battle for 12th, with a win or draw enough to hold the position over their visitors, at a windy The New Croft on Saturday.
Graeme Turner fell victim early on, as he was injured by a ball to the face at close range, and was sent to hospital – replacement, Ben Tait, had a fantastic game in his place.
He was instrumental in winning a free kick and a possible goal chance, taken by Luke Haines which was frantically cleared to safety.
Then came injury number two, when Jake Noble and a Whitton player clashed heads and Noble suffered a deep cut to his eyebrow. He joined Turner at hospital and required several stitches.
Ryan Weaver was then taken down dangerously by Adam Dunnage, according to the referee, and was shown a red card as half time arrived with plenty of talking points, but goalless.
After the restart, it was 10-man Whitton who went ahead, as they converted a penalty chance eight minutes into the second half.
But Rovers fought back in the 69th minute, Harry Daniels crossing into a crowded goal area but managing to find Weaver, who reacted first to tap it in for a 1-1 score.
Henry Hall was then replaced by Cohen Micklewright on 76 minutes to see six players in a Rovers shirt under 19 years old.
As the match entered the last 15 minutes, Rovers upped their game and both Sam Bennett and Weaver went close.
In the final minutes, Weaver sent in a sizzling shot from a sharp angle which ‘keeper Lewis Higgins could only parry to the lurking Haines, who made no mistake in volleying home for the Rovers’ winner in the 90th minute to secure the points.
It sees them improve on their 19th place finish in last season’s campaign, despite losing their manager and their top scorer on five different occasions.
More by this authorHannah Dolman