Haverhill Rovers and Borough to kick off FA Vase battles this weekend
The two Haverhill football clubs have endured very different starts to their seasons in their respective leagues, but both go into this weekend’s FA Vase first round qualifying with the same do-or-die attitude.
Both teams are on the road to sides in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South, with Rovers away to Benfleet on Sunday (2pm) – at Canvey Island FC – and Borough away to promotion-hopeful Halstead Town (3pm).
But Rovers go in on a defeat, having suffered their first loss in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division last time out, a 6-2 reverse away to Hadleigh United.
Manager Fergus O’Callaghan said: “We will be going into it very cautiously, we are hurting from Saturday and the boys want to put it right. The result was not acceptable really so I want a reaction from them big time.
“We have some lovely players in the team but we struggled to even pass the ball, we were dreadful. So a lower-league side, on paper, is a nice fixture to have. But if we play like that, we’re not going to win.
“There’s plenty of quality in that league and we are away as well, which does make it harder, so we will need to be careful.”
Borough, on the other hand, are in a much more confident mood after ending a three-match losing streak with a 5-2 win at home to Leiston Reserves in the First Division North.
They followed that up on Tuesday night at The Culina Hub, The New Croft with a 4-2 victory over Cornard United. The side have scored nine times in the past two outings.
Manager Guy Habbin said: “We are looking forward to it and our mindset is good.
“I don’t see a reason why we can’t progress if we play well – we showed what we are capable of by beating Leiston.
“From a club point of view, the FA Cup and the FA Vase are great; they both give the club great exposure and obviously there is an important cash award that goes with it.
“And it’s a competition all the players want to be involved in, at this level of football especially.
“That is a great motivator, the players are always up for it, and if we can play to our best, then hopefully that will be good enough to see us over the line.”
* Meanwhile, Haverhill Rovers Ladies will kick their season off at home with the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday (2pm).
They are due to host higher-league King’s Lynn Town Ladies, who compete in Division One North of the Eastern Region Women’s Football League.