THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Haverhill Rovers 3 Stanway Rovers 1
The new-dawn at Haverhill Rovers started in the brightest possible fashion with an impressive victory over a Stanway team that had not last a league match since, oddly, a 3-1 defeat against the same opponents at the same venue on October 10, 2015.
Rovers went ahead when Marcus Hunt picked up a loose ball 25-yards out and hit a dipping left foot half-volley that went past Liam Daniels in the Stanway goal and in off the bar.
Rovers new ‘keeper, Charlie Turner, was redundant until 25 minutes in when he comfortably held a Jack Cawley header, but one minute later he went full-stretch to tip a Sean Bartlett skimmer from distance past the upright as Stanway began to exert more pressure.
On 36 minutes Stanway should have levelled, but after fine approach play by Danny Slatter and Danny Thrower, full-back Josh Dalziel put his low shot wide from eight yards out.
Ben Newson sliced wide from a good position on 39 minutes as Stanway ended the half firmly in the ascendancy, as their third placed finish last season suggested they would.
Six minutes into the second-half the visitors levelled the score.
Rovers substitute Ross Elkins tripped Slatter in the box, leaving Jamie Shaw, to send Turner the wrong way from 12-yards.
Just three minutes however and from their first and only corner of the match, Hunt headed low into the corner from Ben Burton’s delivery. Stanway’s failure to put a player on the post proved vital.
On 66 minutes Danny Hill exchanged passes with substitute, Rory Jebb and drove at the defence before beating Daniels at his near post to put Rovers 3-1 up and complete the scoring on the night.
On Saturday, Rovers are at home to Hertford in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round (3pm).
For reaction and fuller match report buy tomorrow’s Haverhill Echo.