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Haverhill Rovers suffer another bump on the road in ‘hit-and-miss’ term as they lose 1-0 away to Long Melford on Easter Monday


By Sport Haverhill


Haverhill Rovers boss Stuart Wardley felt their 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Long Melford summed up his side’s ‘hit-and-miss’ season, something he is keen to rectify next term.

Following an encouraging 2-0 home win over basement side Framlingham Town on Saturday, the Reds put in a lacklustre display at Melford on Easter Monday, eventually succumbing to a stoppage-time winner from Ashley Skeggs’ free header.

It left Rovers (12th) licking their wounds from a seventh defeat in their last 10 matches ahead of Saturday’s season-ending game at home to the side one place below them in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table, Whitton United (3pm).

FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Haverhill Rovers...Pictured: ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.... (8983044)
FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Haverhill Rovers...Pictured: ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.... (8983044)

“Hopefully we can put in a performance and get all three points,” Wardley said, having bemoaned their lack of consistency over the Easter period, and season in general.

“We are a bit hit and miss. Some weeks we play against better teams like Woodbridge and beat them, and some weeks we struggle,” Wardley explained his team can struggle to perform at a consistently high quality against teams in the bottom half of the table.

“We seem to perform well against better sides,” he said.

The boss’ evidently disappointed demeanour was clear after the game, highlighting the impact back-to-back wins would have had on the club’s finish to the campaign.

Wardley expressed his fears of another potential defeat when he saw how Melford started the second half.

“They wanted it more,” he said. “It was only a matter of time (Melford) were going to get one, we crumbled in the last 15 minutes.”

FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Haverhill Rovers...Pictured: A. Skeggs (L)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.... (8983045)
FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Haverhill Rovers...Pictured: A. Skeggs (L)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.... (8983045)

The Reds struggled to get a foothold in the match as Melford dominated possession. A 12th minute strike from Will Wingfield deflected off Melford skipper Steve Adams to find the back of the net, but it was ruled offside.

Haverhill warned Melford of their threat on the break however, with youngster Sam Bennett breaking free to leave himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper only to push his resultant shot well wide.

Melford came back hungry for goals after the break and the visitors were lucky not to be a goal down as the game hit the hour mark. A frenetic series of Long Melford corners saw Deklan Roy denied by the crossbar twice.

Rovers were given a golden opportunity to seal the win when Graeme Turner intercepted a wayward back-pass one minute from time, but could not loft the ball over the stranded Melford ‘keeper.

FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Haverhill Rovers...Pictured: Wingfield (L) and Turner (H)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.... (8983047)
FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Haverhill Rovers...Pictured: Wingfield (L) and Turner (H)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.... (8983047)

The hosts’ pressure paid off when Kieran Michaels’ last ditch corner was headed home by a flying Skeggs, snatching victory and sending Haverhill Rovers home empty-handed.

Haverhill: Bugg, Halls, Micklewright (England 66'), Noble, Goode, Holmes, Haines, Carroll, Turner, McKay (Moule 80'), Bennett. Unused subs: Seminerio, Wardley. Attendance: 122



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