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New assistant manager Sean Greygoose says Haverhill Rovers should not be afraid of anyone in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division

Haverhill Rovers should ‘not be afraid of anyone in this league’, new assistant manager Sean Greygoose has declared.

HOLDING THEIR BREATH: Both Rovers and Gorleston watch as the ball heads goalward
HOLDING THEIR BREATH: Both Rovers and Gorleston watch as the ball heads goalward

The son of former Rovers boss Dean was keen to emphasise the team should not fear this Saturday’s visit from fourth-place Woodbridge Town (3pm), despite them being one of only two teams to inflict defeat on high-flying Histon so far this season.

Greygoose’s comments followed his Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side salvaging an unlikely point at home with an added time equaliser to Gorleston on Saturday in a six-goal thriller.

After falling to a three-goal half-time deficit, The New Croft team (10th) staged an exciting comeback performance to remain two points ahead of their opponents in the league table and prevent back-to-back losses.

And, with Rovers due to face five of the top six teams in the coming six weeks, Greygoose knows how important a positive result was for team morale.

He said: “Woodbridge are a good side and are up there – but if we play like we did in the second half against Gorleston for the full 90 minutes, then I don’t think we’ll have any problems.

“They are what they are and we can know what to expect. But, there’s no reason why we can’t be competing with the likes of Woodbridge (4th), Histon (2nd) and Godmanchester (1st), and we definitely shouldn’t be afraid of anyone in this league.

“There’s not a lot of difference between those sides and ourselves, it’s just a little bit of belief, cutting out the silly errors and making sure we hit the target.

“We had the best two chances in the first 10 minutes (against Gorleston) but we didn’t hit the target which is unfortunate, but they scored with their first shot.

“Games hinge on those sort of moments and so we need to do a bit better at giving ourselves more of a chance of it going our way. There’s lots still to work on,but there’s no reason why we can’t push on from this and get a result.

“The big thing for us is that we are a team of two halves – a poor first half followed by a completely different second half.

“We need to get the right mindset from the start and set the tempo early, rather than letting our opponents.”

Gorleston got off to a flying start with a goal in the seventh minute and Rovers struggled to keep them at bay.

Two further scores eventually followed on the half-hour and 40 minute mark to leave a lot in the crowd believing the game was done.

But, a change to the formation to just three at the back, coupled with the arrival of Ben Bradley and Ben Tait, spurred the home team on and they increasingly dominated possession.

Loanee Sam Goode converted a chance from close range in the 64th minute to give the home team hope of a comeback but, with the score remaining 3-1 at 90 minutes, it seemed unlikely.

A frantic three minutes of added time followed, as Bradley was brought down in the box for a penalty – struck sweetly by player-boss Marc Abbott into the top left corner – before Goode again provided the goods, three minutes past 90, with another close-range header as the ball pinballed off the crossbar for 3-3.

Greygoose said: “We told them at half-time that their first half performance just wasn’t good enough. We’re disappointed and not just this week either, it was the same last week (a 3-2 home loss to relegation-threatened Hadleigh United).

“We keep giving ourselves a mountain to climb but, testament to the teamm, they’ve come back and, even if it was in the last seconds, they all count so that’s a big positive; that one-point could end up crucial.

He added: “It was important to salvage a draw for the league position; had we lost, Gorleston would have overtaken us (in the table).

“So it’s important to keep pace with those teams around you, keep picking up league points – especially off teams around and below us – and keep the boys on track.

“The ambition here is to push on in the second half of the season and these are the sort of games that we’ve got to be winning. Last week wasn’t acceptable, they beat us but they shouldn’t have done.

“It’s back-to-back home games that we probably should have got six points from and, instead, we have just one.”

Rovers: Ware, Carroll, Fox, Noble (Halls 80’), Holmes (Bradley 46’), Goode, Abbott, Yallop, Lovell, Turner, Haines (Tait 46’)

Attendance: 103

Echo Man of the Match: Jemel Fox – kept bombing down the left wing and made crucial decisions at both ends.

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