Haverhill Borough dedicate cup success to a ‘real club man.’

BBC Radio Suffolk's Graeme Mac (left) and Matt Hawkins (right) of sponsors CNet Training are pictured either side of Haverhill Borough Manager Martin Westcott, who took part in the draw at Suffolk FA headquarters in Stowmarket. ANL-160316-122645002
BBC Radio Suffolk's Graeme Mac (left) and Matt Hawkins (right) of sponsors CNet Training are pictured either side of Haverhill Borough Manager Martin Westcott, who took part in the draw at Suffolk FA headquarters in Stowmarket. ANL-160316-122645002

Haverhill Borough have dedicated their victory in the Suffolk FA Senior Cup quarter-final to club stalwart John Roper.

The magnanimous gesture comes in the wake of a momentous week for Borough, during which they twice made history.

On Tuesday of last week they won 3-0 at March Town United in the semi-final of the Thurlow Nunn League First Division Knockout to reach their first ever cup final in their history, against Stowmarket Town at Mildenhall FC’s ground on May 6.

Just four days later Borough won 3-0 at Ipswich Athletic to cement their place in the semi-final of the senior cup - another first for the five-year-old club - and a tie on April 2 at Woodbridge Town’s ground against Anglian Combination Division One leaders Waveney (3pm).

“The lads have all dedicated the win to John Roper, who is not well again,” said Westcott.

“He is on our committee, he drives the bus sometimes and comes to support us and does the gate.

“He’s a really fantastic club man and does a lot to support us. The boys are all concerned about his health.”

At the start of the season doing well in the senior cup and knockout cup were high on the club’s wish list, so for Westcott it is so far so good.

He said: “If you said what cup are we most likely to do well in, the First Division Knockout Cup and senior cup are two. The FA Cup you are never going to win and the league cup, you are never going to do well in, given the premier division teams that are in it.

“It’s a cup final at the end of the day. It’s a chance of silverware. We would definitely have taken it before the season began.

“It also keeps our season alive. If we were in the position we are in now (11th in division one) and out of all the cups it ends in a damp squib.

“It will be good to keep the players motivated and hopefully we can do well for the rest of the season.”

With qualification for next season’s FA Cup important to Borough, they will now focus on putting a run of good results together to climb up the table and boost those qualification hopes, starting with a return to March Town United on Saturday (3pm).

Westcott said: “It’s a long way to go. It’s always a really difficult game there. The amount of times I’ve won at March I can count on one hand.

“They will want to prove a point. I know they were really looking forward to the semi-final and were really disappointed they lost so they will be looking for revenge, but we will have to be on our toes.”

Borough’s squad, added their player-manager, is as strong now as it ever has been this season and the addition of former West Wratting and Haverhill Rovers central defender Ian Bluett in time for both cup matches has made it even stronger.

Westcott said: “The fact that we have kept two clean sheets has been due in no small part to him coming in.”

•Haverhill Rovers play at home to fourth-placed Felixstowe & Walton United in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division on Saturday (3pm) looking to put more distance between themselves and the bottom three, a gap of eight points currently.

Last week Rovers’ suffered further blows with the departure of top scorer Ryan Weaver and centre-half Nick Wilderspin to Halstead Town, full-back Perry Moody to Saffron Walden Town and the return to West Wratting of midfielder Riki Baker, while skipper Martyn Farrant and Blake Kicks also appear to have played their last match for the club.