Haverhill Rovers 2 Hadleigh United 2

Haverhill Rovers gained a hard earned point in their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division clash with Hadleigh United on Boxing Day (Wednesday, December 26).

Rovers started well and took the lead after 17 minutes when a corner from Jack Higgs was deflected past the Hadleigh goalkeeper by United centre back Mark Goldfinch.

The lead was short lived however, as Hadleigh scored almost straight from the restart, with Marcus Josiah volleying home a cross from the right to square the game up.

Hadleigh went on to dominate the rest of the first half, and took the lead when clever interplay on the edge of the Rovers box saw Shane Wardley evade the Rovers defence and then curl the ball around Elliot Anderson and into the bottom left hand corner of the Rovers goal.

Haverhill came out stronger in the second half, and with only two minutes elapsed Aaron Forshaw was prevented from going through one on one with the Hadleigh goalkeeper following a last ditch tackle by Goldfinch.

A Higgs free kick from the right wing appeared goal bound on 66 minutes before it was deflected away by Oliver Brown in the Hadleigh defence, but the game appeared up for the hosts two minutes later as Hadleigh broke quickly down the right wing.

Josiah beat Anderson with his chip with the Rovers defence stranded, but the ball rebounded off the left upright, and as Lee McGlone bore down on goal his shot was blocked by Perry Moody.

A fine cross from Paul Abbott in the 72nd minute was volleyed over by an unmarked Greg Strong, who had a further chance from a corner with 10 minutes left, although his header was blocked by Darren Moyes in the Hadleigh goal.

With ten minutes left Marc Abbott was dismissed for blocking the run of an opponent , but the hosts were not to be denied, and with seven minutes left Dan Cornwell was adjudged to be having his shirt pulled in the penalty area by Goldfinch, and converted the resulting spot kick to leave honours even.

Rovers: Anderson, Abbott P, Strong Moody, Kingham, Holmes (Hunt (45) Abbott, Forshaw, (Boreham 78) Cornwell, Higgs(Cogger 75), Harrison

Rovers next play at home against Ely City tomorrow (Saturday, December 29, 3pm kick off).

For all the latest sport see Thursday’s (January 3) Echo.