Kevin Parsons loses first game at Haverhill Borough but oversees Lee Hurkett's 100th appearance for the Blues
Kevin Parsons’ first game as Haverhill Borough manager was ‘incredibly frustrating’ as they fell to a 2-0 loss away to Fakenham Town.
But the new boss’ confidence in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North side remains intact as he itches for another go at victory, with Saturday’s visit from Leiston Reserves to The New Croft (3pm).
“It was an incredibly frustrating one,” he said.
“We had a squad of only 12 players and then had an injury after only 15 minutes, so we were forced to make our only change early on.
“And it cost us I think because there wasn’t much between us, especially in the first half, before we just ran out of steam.
“It was one of those games when nothing really went for us, which was hard to watch, but it was good to see the heart and determination from the players; the will to win is there.
“It made me really look forward to this Saturday and being on home turf for the first time.”
He said he hopes to have the services of Rafal Wozniak, Rory Bone and Rigers Kabashi – who has not played since November 11 – back at his disposal with varying periods of unavailability in recent games.
And new signing Colby Williams, after making his debut for the club on Saturday, will likely also feature this weekend.
“We brought Colby in from Lakenheath, my first signing, last week and got him registered just in time to play. Which is just as well or we would have been in big trouble with Chris Munday coming off injured so early.
“There were still really positive signs from the team and it definitely hints at what’s to come. As I said, the team just put so much passion into their game.
“It’s very encouraging for us, they just kept going and it was bad luck as much as anything.
“But the return of those three first team players is going to be a big boost for us I think, I’ve heard a lot about how good they are.
“So I don’t want to make quick decisions, I want everyone to have a chance to show me what they’ve got before I consider bringing players in.”
He added that it was ‘fantastic’ to see Lee Hurkett make his 100th-game milestone for the club; bridging the gap between the long-time members and newer ones in Parsons’ first game in charge.
But neither old nor new were able to secure victory on a day where Borough struggled to get a foothold against their opposition.
It had begun well for Borough, with right back Harry Simmonds sending a scorching shot goalbound in the first five minutes to force a good save from the home ‘keeper, but the Blues were unable to follow up with further pressure on goal.
Instead Borough’s back line were called on increasingly to deny Fakenham any payback for their pressure in the box. The defence were unable to keep Fakenham at bay indefinitely and the pressure eventually led to a Ryan Curtis score after 21 minutes.
The score remained 1-0 at the break to leave Borough chasing the game in the second period.
They were the ones to start more brightly and, with Simmonds and Zak Ollington given rein to overlap down the right, they finally started to put pressure on the home team’s defence.
But, despite Borough becoming dominant, the home team struck on the counter to add the second goal cushion with just 15 minutes remaining and knock the wind out of the visitors’ sails.
The last quarter saw little goalmouth action with The Ghosts happy to run down the clock and secure three points.
Parsons said: “We didn’t win, but there was a lot to take out of it and be positive about.
“And I just can’t wait for my first home game, that’s really what it’s about, if we can get a win in that one, it would mean a lot. But they will be a young and energetic side, so it’s going to be a challenge.
“I would love to see a good crowd at The New Croft for my first game in charge, it would be great if the supporters came along to really get behind us, it’s been an odd season for them so far and they need a bit of consistency.”
The club has undergone a number of big changes and has seen three managers – including caretaker boss Lee Martin – just this season.
But Parsons has every intention of staying for the long haul.
“Slow and steady,” he said. “It’s midway through the season so I don’t want to be disrupting things too much.”