Plenty of positives for Haverhill Rovers to take despite exiting county cup
New Haverhill Rovers manager James Bloomfield was proud of the way his players applied themselves during Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of higher-league Needham Market in the second round of the Suffolk Premier Cup.
Despite there being two leagues between the sides, Rovers more than held their own for large parts of the tie and at 1-1 midway through the second half, an upset could well have been a possibility.
Eventually fitness and the Marketmen’s Step 3 quality told as they helped themselves to three late goals, but there was nevertheless plenty of reasons for Rovers to remain positive.
“I am really proud of the players,” said Bloomfield, who has taken over following the departure of Fergus O’Callaghan.
“Fitness told towards the end and decision making because of that started to be affected – that is where their Step 3 quality shone through.
“We frustrated them for large parts of the game. We defended very well in units – that was the plan.
“They were always going to get opportunities but we limited them for a lot of the game and that is credit to the lads.
“Needham dominated the game in terms of possession but the scoreline feels a bit harsh.
“I have told the players they can take a lot of belief from this and if they can play like that in league games they will pick up plenty of points.”
Rovers’ well organised defending meant that a lot of Needham’s shots during the first half came from distance, with many of them being blocked.
However, they managed to break the deadlock three minutes before the interval when Luke Ingram was afforded a rare bit of space and from 20 yards out his deflected effort got the better of Toby Egan in the home goal.
The young hosts stuck to the task in hand though, and were rewarded 10 minutes into the second half with a real team goal.
It started with teenager Tyger Smalls in the centre of the pitch and was followed by neat passes from Ben Tait and Jordan Palmer, who combined to free Max Dinnell to produce a neat dinked finish over Marcus Garnham.
Smalls was denied by Garnham’s feet soon after as Haverhill hunted the lead, but Joe Marsden’s 69th-minute goal from 25 yards out seemed to knock the stuffing out of the home team as Gareth Heath (74’) and Jake Dye (85’) added to the scoreline for the two-time winners of the competition.
Haverhill: Egan, Tait, Hall, Carroll, Proctor, Fox, Michaels, Moore (Gibbs 56), Palmer, Smalls, Dinnell (Revell 81)
Echo Man of the Match – Alfie Carroll: A real solid performance from the centre-back.
l The midweek defeat came after Rovers had lost 3-0 at home to Norwich United in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division on Saturday.