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Haverhill Rovers make it three wins from three in the league with strong form early on

Nine points from the first nine on offer in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division is exactly how Fergus O’Callaghan had hoped to begin his tenure as Haverhill Rovers boss.

Even he had not expected such a good start following Saturday’s 4-2 home win over Whitton United, as his young and ambitious team found a ‘clinical touch’ early on.

They remain unbeaten in the league, having beaten Godmanchester Rovers and Thetford Town ahead of the Whitton United victory.

BF-10-08-2019-001-GD Haverhill Rovers on-loan Ipswich Town goalkeeper Toby Egan. (15547415)
BF-10-08-2019-001-GD Haverhill Rovers on-loan Ipswich Town goalkeeper Toby Egan. (15547415)

The only blip so far has been a heavy defeat in the FA Cup extra preliminary round, as the young side were taught an invaluable lesson in the physicality of Step 5 football.

O’Callaghan does not want to get ahead of himself, and is keen to keep his talented teenagers grounded, as they prepare to travel to Hadleigh United on Saturday (3pm).

Hadleigh picked up their first league point on Tuesday night, in a 1-1 away draw to FC Clacton.

O’Callaghan said: “Christian (Appleford, Hadleigh manager) is a well-known and respected manager at this level and he won’t be panicking about a bad start.

“I will be bearing in mind the fact they haven’t won yet, of course, as it changes the dynamics of the whole game.

“We have a lot of confidence and belief after the start we’ve had, and they won’t; that’s such a big thing. If I was a betting man, I would say we have a good chance.

“But we have to play with the confidence we have shown in the first three games. We have managed to find a clinical touch and that’s so important at this level.”

Toby Egan saved a penalty against Whitton on Saturday, before Max Dinnell netted his first goal for Rovers, followed by a brace from striker Jordan Palmer. Substitute Tyger Smalls then scored a second half fourth goal as Rovers wrapped up the 4-2 victory.

It was Smalls’ second senior goal for the club after a video of his winning goal in the 2-1 Thetford Town victory was widely shared on social media.

O’Callaghan said: “I was sort of hoping it wouldn’t get that much attention to be honest – there’s no doubt he’s a talent and that it was a wonderful goal, but it was just one goal, we want to keep him grounded, we want to keep them all grounded.

“With such a young squad, they are all learning their trade and we will see great goals like that and then they’ll struggle, so we don’t want to pile the pressure on.

“But Max getting his first goal for the club and even the experience of Jordan was great to see. It’s been a good start and hopefully we can continue it on Saturday.”

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