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Haverhill Rovers have ‘enough quality’ to compensate for the loss of striker

Ryan Weaver in action for Haverhill Rovers against Walsham le Willows. Picture: Haverhill Rovers ANL-161019-114224002
Ryan Weaver in action for Haverhill Rovers against Walsham le Willows. Picture: Haverhill Rovers ANL-161019-114224002

Assistant manager Josh Shepherd believes Haverhill Rovers have enough quality to compensate for the loss of Ryan Weaver.

The striker, 24, has signed for Kershaw Premier League club West Wratting after 11 starts and two goals this season for Rovers.

However, Rovers have shown their ability to find the net has not been diminished, scoring eight times in their last three matches, the latest of which saw Rory Jebb, Luke Haines and top-scorer Danny Hill (2) all net in their 4-0 Suffolk FA Premier Cup win over Hadleigh United on Tuesday.

Shepherd said: “Ollie Stevenson has come in and replaced him and made two or three assists in the last three games and put in a performance.

“We’ve got Owen Longley who has come in and we’ve got young Owen Thompson who can play in his position. I don’t think it’s affected us as a team.

“He will be a miss but there’s more than enough quality in the team to fill his position.”

Rovers face Fakenham Town at the New Croft in a Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division match on Saturday (3pm) knowing a win would take them above their opponents.

Shepherd was delighted with the manner in which Rovers got over their two recent losses in the premier division - 3-2 at Ipswich Wanderers and 4-2 at home to Newmarket Town, both games that were lost after having gone 2-0 up - and wants more of the same against Fakenham.

He said: “We’ve got to bounce back in the league. I think we showed our ability to bounce back after losses. Ipswich was a tough game and yesterday (Hadleigh) was the best performance and response.

“To come out and score four goals and get a second clean sheet this season really made a statement that we are good enough. They really are good enough to beat anyone, this team.

“We’ve got a good squad of lads. The dressing room is one of the best I’ve seen from a club. Everyone gets on and everyone has self-belief.

“It’s a good dressing room to be around.”

Aside from Luke Latham (injured) and Mitch Burr, Rovers have a full squad to choose from, with Ben Burton also returning to the fray.

Shepherd added: “It’s a pretty strong team. It’s the first time in the last few weeks we have not had five or six players missing.”

•Haverhill Rovers have signed midfielder Mason Newman from Ely City.

Newman was on trial with Rovers in the summer and the club was interested in signing him but he opted instead to join The Robins. Although he has made 11 appearances for Ely, seven of them starts, and scored three goals he had recently fallen out of favour.

•Haverhill Borough are away to Felixstowe & Walton United on Saturday (3pm) in the FA Vase first round as they hope to pull off another shock win against a team from the Thurlow Premier after their 1-0 victory in the previous round against Haverhill Rovers.

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