Focus returns to league matters for Haverhill Rovers and Haverhill Borough
With their FA Vase meeting now out of the way both Haverhill Rovers and Haverhill Borough are turning their focus back to league affairs.
Borough took the honours with a 1-0 win last Friday but the two teams have gone on to put that night of high tension and emotion behind them and produce a good result on their return to Thurlow Nunn League action on Tuesday.
Rovers defeated Hadleigh United 4-2 at the New Croft to climb to ninth in the Premier Division and Borough became the first team to score at Downham Town this season when Martin Westcott’s 84th-minute header earned them a 1-1 draw in the First Division.
On Saturday, Rovers travel to new league leaders Thetford Town (3pm), who won 3-2 at Kirkley & Pakefield last night (Wed) to go top of the pile.
Borough take on AFC Sudbury Reserves at the New Croft on Saturday (3pm) knowing a win could lift them into the top three.
Rovers manager Ben Cowling has a number of injury concerns ahead of Saturday, with Harry Halls, Charlie Turner and Mitch Burr all carrying groin strains, while striker Ryan Weaver missed the Hadleigh match through illness, although he is expected to return.
Rovers will also be without midfielders Ben Bradley and Jonny Milne, who are away.
“It’s certainly going to test our squad, I think it’s safe to say, but Rory Jebb has come in last night and done really well.
“Friday took a lot out of us mentally so to be able to come back and perform like that, scoring four goals at home, was obviously pleasing.
“It shows there’s a lot of resilience in the team.
“We’ve got 15 points in the league by the end of September, which is a good return, but the bottom line and the message we’ve got to get out is that we’ve got to think where this side was a few months ago.
“We’ve taken people like Mitch Burr, Rory Jebb, Ollie Stevenson and Owen Thompson, they are 17, 18 or 19 years old, we’ve put them in and we’ve got belief in them and it’s not about playing for this season, necessarily, although we want to do well, but we are building a team for the future.”
Rovers have scored 14 goals at home in the league this season, just one short of the total achieved in 2015/16 and go to Thetford unbeaten away from home in the league.
Cowling said: “We are ticking along quite nicely at the moment in the league and we want to keep that going.”
On the blue side of Haverhill, player-manager Westcott was happy to return to league matters with a point at Downham from a match in which he rated his team’s showing as only ‘six or seven out of 10.’
He added: “The spirit was still there and we got a point out of it. It’s hard to get yourself back up for the night after a game like Friday.
“It was sort of important to get that game out of the way to get back to normality.
“If we get three points on the board (against AFC Sudbury) then we’ve got a gap of a long time to our next league game (at home to Halstead Town on October 25).
“We need three points to stay where we are.”
n Haverhill’s Joe Robinson has had his loan from Ipswich Town to Vanarama National League North side Boston United extended by a month. So far the defender has started all eight games for the Pilgrims, played every minute and played a big part in the recent turnaround of four wins and a draw in their last five games.