Personal reasons force Hill to leave Rovers
Very little seems to be going right for Ben Cowling and his Haverhill Rovers side at the moment.
One win from their last 11 league outings has seen Rovers drop to within three points of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division relegation zone, and now they have lost the services of leading goalscorer Danny Hill.
After eight seasons and 198 goals in 214 appearances for West Wratting, the prolific marksman switched to The New Croft during the summer.
The subsequent step up in standard was seamless, with Hill netting 11 league goals and 15 in all competitions.
However, the frontman has now decided to take a step back due to personal reasons, though he says it may not be a permanent exit.
“Danny came to us recently and admitted he could not commit to playing football every week,” said Cowling.
“We all do football as a hobby, so it is only right that Danny’s personal life takes priority.
“It is a major blow because Danny has been fantastic since he arrived.
“He has shown he can score goals at this level and cause problems for defenders.
“It is not that he was not happy here, because he was.
“Danny even turned down numerous approaches from other clubs to stay earlier in the season.
“He has said he hopes to return in the summer and the door will always be open.”
In the absence of Hill, who netted just over 30 per cent of Haverhill’s league goals this season, Rovers have a big week ahead of them.
They host Ipswich Wanderers on Saturday (3pm) looking to halt their slide down the table, before welcoming Stanway Rovers in a Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup quarter-final tie on Tuesday (7.45pm).
“There is no doubt about it, we have been sucked into the relegation picture,” Cowling conceded.
“We need to string some results together, starting against Ipswich.
“We lost at their place (3-2, in October), but we saw enough that day to know there is the quality in our squad to cause them problems.
“It comes down to confidence. This is the same group of players that started the season well, so now they need to start believing in themselves.”
With regard to the Stanway encounter, the Rovers chief added: “They are up there in the table, so it is a free swing for us.
“There is a little bit of transition there at the moment and they have lost their leading goalscorer (Jamie Shaw, Coggeshall Town), so you never know.
“The league is our priority right now, but if we suddenly find ourselves in a cup semi-final, then great.”
n Meanwhile, the Football Association has granted Rovers permission to lodge an appeal against the decision to deduct them three points earlier in the season.
Rovers won 2-1 at Wivenhoe Town in October, only to see that result wiped from the record books because of confusion over the illegibility of new signing Mason Newman.
It is likely to take at least two weeks for a verdict to be reached.