Cornwell signing key to Haverhill Rovers prospects

Haverhill Rovers Dan Cornwell in action against ''Mildenhall Town in last seasons Suffolk Premier Cup Quarter-Final, in which his hat-trick fired Rovers to the last four
Haverhill Rovers Dan Cornwell in action against ''Mildenhall Town in last seasons Suffolk Premier Cup Quarter-Final, in which his hat-trick fired Rovers to the last four

The capture of top scorer Dan Cornwell on an extended contract will give Haverhill Rovers even more confidence ahead of their meeting with Thetford Town on Saturday.

The New Croft side will already be buoyed by their recent form, having won five and drawn one of their last six games, a run that has seen them concede a miserly two goals in the process.

And, with the much-sought-after Cornwell signing an extension to his contract that will tie him to Rovers until the end of next season, their garden is looking even rosier.

Interim manager Ali Shulver knows the value of Cornwell, who has bagged eight goals in 11 Thurlow Nunn Premier League appearances.

He said: “It’s a massive signing for the team.

“We sat down and went through it with him and he was happy about the ambition of where we wanted to go and the management position at this time, so that was a good bit of business for the club.

“He is hot property.

“Lots of teams come and watch him and we’ve had lots of enquiries about him, so to get him to put pen to paper is brilliant.

“Dan is committed to the Rovers cause, and we are all thrilled he has been willing to sign an extended deal for next season.

“He believes the club are moving in the right direction, and is happy with both the current management set-up and the plans the committee have put in place for the permanent appointment of Peter’s (Betts) successor.”

Cornwell missed the goalless draw at Stanway Rovers on 
Saturday as he served a one-match ban for picking up five cautions, but returns to face Thetford.

Given that Rovers were 
without seven of their regular first team squad for that match, the point constitutes a good return.

It also shows the value of having players like Sam 
Holmes that can step in and do exactly the job that is required of them.

“The idea of me taking the position over is that there’s going to be no massive changes to the system we play,” said Shulver.

“I think any lads coming in to the system now can do it, they know what they have to do and they know the system.”

Rovers will be looking to complete their first league double of the season when Thetford arrive at the New Croft on Saturday (3pm).

They won 2-1 in Norfolk in early September, a victory that was at the beginning of a transformation in their league form and has seen them rise from the bottom three to tenth following a run of just two losses in 11 outings.

The only absentees for 
Rovers on Saturday are expected to be Perry Moody, who serves a one-game ban after picking up five bookings, and Marcus Hunt, who is unavailable.

Goalkeeper Eliot Anderson returns, as do Cornwell, Jamie Challis, Neil Cogger and Aaron Forshaw, who was turning out for HSA in their FA Vase Third Round loss to Peacehaven and Telscombe

Shulver said: “Really it’s a game going into that I would be expecting to pick up three points.

“I’m not used to us going into matches as odds on favourites, but this is one of the bread and butter games where three points are essential if we are 
going to do anything this season.

“We are expecting a tough game, no matter what.”

Thetford Town have lost their last six matches in all competitions.