THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION
Haverhill Borough 4
Holland FC 0
Haverhill Borough’s fine league form continued as a fine second-half performance saw them overcome Holland FC 4-0 on Saturday.
After an uneventful opening period, the game came to life after 22 minutes as a quick Borough throw-in found Charlie Holmes in on goal. His flick beat Peter Haxell, the Holland goalkeeper, but was scrambled to safety by visiting defenders.
The game turned on a five-minute spell at the end of the first half.
Paul Walker, in the Borough goal, pulled off a fine diving safe to his left, parrying Steve Eaton’s shot with a strong hand before the ball was lashed away by a home defender.
Four minutes later, as the referee was about to blow for the break, a square ball found Ryan Swallow 25 yards out from goal, and his perfectly hit right-footed half volley faded away from Haxell’s despairing dive to give the hosts an unexpected lead at the break.
Ten minutes into the second half Swallow almost doubled his tally, as he burst into the Holland penalty area from the left wing, but his shot struck the top of the crossbar.
Two minutes later Holmes did increase the lead with a near post finish, after excellent work from Craig Pruden, who outpaced Ricky Spriggs before crossing from the byline.
Pruden added the third after Holland were reduced to 10 men, Christopher Ribchester was shown his marching orders to leave the visitors with a numerical disadvantage for the rest of the contest.
After Holmes’ initial shot was saved, Pruden’s goal bound effort was handled by Ribchester, who was immediately dismissed.
Pruden’s penalty was blocked by Haxell, but the striker was first to react to the loose ball and scored his 12th goal of the season.
Aaron Forshaw saw his attempt saved in the 70th minute, but Jarid Robson added a fourth with a fine strike from 30 yards to enable the hosts to run out comfortable 4-0 winners.
The victory, coupled with Woodbridge Town’s surprise 2-0 defeat at home to AFC Sudbury Reserves, helped Martin Westcott’s side (3rd) open up an eight-point gap over fourth place Woodbridge in the table.
A win for Borough in last night’s trip to Dereham Town Reserves would have pushed them up to second place.
Haverhill Borough: Walker, Hardwick, Regan, Forshaw, Hawley, C Phillips, Pruden, Robson (Hurkett 79), Holmes (Staines 67), Swallow (Clark 67), Bone. Subs not used: Thomas, Westcott. Attendance: 45.