Rovers boss calls on players to respond to heavy weekend loss

CLINICAL PERFORMANCE: Player manager Marc Abbott has called on his players to respond to last weekend's loss with a better performance and result at home to struggling FC Clacton    Picture: Mark Westley
CLINICAL PERFORMANCE: Player manager Marc Abbott has called on his players to respond to last weekend's loss with a better performance and result at home to struggling FC Clacton Picture: Mark Westley

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Gorleston 4

Haverhill Rovers 1

Manager Marc Abbott knows it was not Haverhill Rovers at their best on Saturday but hopes the side can bounce back this weekend.

Rovers host FC Clacton on Saturday at The New Croft (3pm), a team who lie three places — and four points — below them in 19th in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

It is a higher position that Abbott hopes his side can take advantage of, as he called on his players to ‘put in a clinical performance’ after ‘struggling to deal with Gorleston’ a week earlier.

Rovers went in at half-time with a 2-0 deficit on Saturday, against a side who Abbott said were on a ‘really good run of form’.

He revealed he had not been at the game, with assistant manager Paul Miles filling in as gaffer. But, from what he has been told, the game had been lost in the first half despite a better second half.

The hosts led after 20 minutes when Jack Garrod put a shot past the outstretched arm of ‘keeper Charlie Turner.

Gorleston doubled their advantage just before the half hour mark, as Garrod’s ball found Ross Gilfedder, whose shot deflected in off Jemel Fox for an own goal.

A third goal for Gorleston came in the 54th minute, as Ryan Geoghegan was penalised by the assistant referee for a foul on Gilfedder although the referee kept his hand down despite appearing to have a clear view.

Gilfedder then scored his second from the penalty spot.

A fourth goal for Gorleston came after 64 minutes from a goalmouth scramble with the last touch coming off Garrod.

Tom Newman thought he had grabbed a goal back for Rovers, but his shot came down off the underside of the bar and bounced away.

Haverhill continued to apply pressure and got the goal they deserved after 82 minutes as Newman took advantage of a poor clearance.

The youngster, who has been with Rovers a while but has had few first-team appearances, is on a scholarship with the Cambridge United Shadows programme and spending time at The New Croft club to gain experience.

Abbott said: “He had a really good second half on Saturday. He’s been with us a little while but it’s great to see him develop, he’s been playing with our other teams mostly.

“We struggled to deal with the threat Gorleston brought, but we always knew it was going to be tough, they are on a really good run of form.

“There were a couple of turning points in that game and only Tom took one of them on the day. We’re at home this Saturday, and we will look to attack the game, we want three points from it.

“That, and to put in a clinical performance.”

• Meanwhile, their home game to Stowmarket Town — originally postponed on March 10 until Tuesday, March 27 — has again been rescheduled to Tuesday, April 17 (7.45pm).