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Haverhill Rovers wrap up year with a solid 3-1 victory away at Ely City

Marc Abbott is pleased with Haverhill Rovers’ results over the Christmas period, culminating in Saturday’s 3-1 away win at Ely City.

The player-boss was in a positive mood following his Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side’s dismissal of their league opponents, with a late goal conceded the only negative of the performance.

He feels his side will go into Saturday’s home game with Norwich United (3pm) in good form.

The Ely victory came days after the team had thrashed Long Melford 4-0 at The New Croft in a Boxing Day encounter, led by a hat-trick from Abbott himself – who has netted four of Rovers’ last seven goals.

Football 3pm at Ely: Ely City v Haverhill Rovers Marc Abbott scored for Haverhill Picture Mark Westley. (6245865)
Football 3pm at Ely: Ely City v Haverhill Rovers Marc Abbott scored for Haverhill Picture Mark Westley. (6245865)

But their end of year fixtures had not begun well, as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to bottom side Great Yarmouth Town on December 22.

Abbott said: “Yarmouth are a much improved side, they have recruited well and proved a handful up front.

“But, although it is disappointing to have lost to the team that have the tag as bottom-of-the-league, they have not stayed there and I don’t think they will return there either.

“That is a team that will pick up points and the squad that they had out against us, is definitely worthy of a higher position. They are already climbing the table.

“What’s pleased me most, though, is how we reacted to that defeat, and have now picked up two really good wins.

“That’s the main thing to take from it all, we had a disappointing setback but we responded to it, so I’m pleased with where we are.

“It should have been a clean sheet, that’s the only negative to give to the boys really.

“It’s three points and a good win, three good goals here at Ely is nothing to sniff at. It’s just an area we can analyse to see where we went wrong, and that could help us in future games that are much tighter.”

He said he believes the Norwich game at the weekend could be one of those tighter games, with a new manager getting a reaction from the squad who were relegated from the league above at the end of last season.

“It will be another difficult game, they’ve recruited a new manager and we have yet to see any of their new players but we do know they have a lot of experience in their side and have played at Step 4, which is combined with the enthusiasm of youth,” he said.

“So we know it will by no means be an easy game and we’ll have to be fully prepared if we want to get three points.”

Abbott may not be able to play this weekend, coming off after 63 minutes on Saturday with a tight hamstring.

Ely began the game brighter but, despite numerous chances, did not find the net before Abbott switched the momentum with a fine strike from the edge of the area curling into the top right of goal after 36 minutes.

Henry Halls then rose highest from an Abbott free kick to head in for a second Rovers score in the 50th minute before Mark Lovell backheeled his side to a 3-0 lead in the 72nd, scoring in his second successive game.

Replacement Jerome Morris found a consolation score for the home team a minute from time, but it was too late for Ely.

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