THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Haverhill Borough 2
Saffron Walden 1
It was looking ominous as the game went on, but Anthony Choat hopes the way Haverhill Borough finally secured victory on Friday night signifies their luck is turning.
Manager Choat stood in disbelief on the sideline as Borough trailed Saffron Walden by a first-half goal, despite his team peppering the visitors’ goal for the majority of the match.
His side eventually found an equaliser in the 78th minute, from the boot of Rory Bone, before Cameron Watson went on to head home the winner in injury time to take the three points that had looked unlikely.
Choat said he was ‘really pleased’ by the manner of the result, ahead of Saturday’s crucial relegation tie at home to Hadleigh United (3pm).
Borough have been locked in a close battle with the Brettsiders to stay in the remaining safe spot in the league, with four due to be demoted from the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division at the end of the season.
But the win over Saffron Walden has left the gap to Hadleigh standing at three points, having seen it reduced to zero mere weeks ago.
Choat added that the team’s better goal record ‘effectively puts Borough an extra point ahead’ as he admitted it was a ‘massive game’ but not the game that would ‘make or break’ their season.
He said: “It’s a massive game for both clubs but we’re confident we’re in good form and have the advantage.
“I couldn’t believe we were a goal down against Saffron Walden with all the chances we had, so I’m really pleased by the result.
“If we had drawn or lost, people would have looked at the result and expected it from where we both sit in the league table (Walden sit 8th, Borough 20th).
“But anything but a win just wouldn’t have done our performance justice.
“Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve in football, we’ve found that out the hard way, but hopefully this win is a sign our luck is turning.
“So we go into Saturday with even more momentum from back-to-back wins, but we know we still have to be on our mettle or it will cost us.”
Choat said the additions of goalkeeper Niall Conroy and left back Joe Walker had given the defence a ‘big boost’ as both Haverhill goals came from the defence.
He said: “We’ve conceded fewer and have won both games they’ve started in.
“So they’re definitely having a positive effect — they bring an air of confidence that comes from experience.”
Saffron Walden’s defence frustrated a Borough side that had numerous chances but were foiled at the last moment, before twice finding the back of the net late on.
Echo Man of the Match: Rory Bone — His delivery was consistently good with the free kicks and corners before scoring the equaliser himself.