Satisfying result to kick off new year for Haverhill Rovers with draw at home to league leaders Stowmarket Town
Haverhill Rovers scored an 87th-minute equaliser on Saturday, to become just the fourth side to take any points off runaway Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division leaders Stowmarket Town.
Goals from short-term loanee Jacob Joseph and young talent Tom Stoker proved enough to secure a 2-2 draw at The New Croft and hand returning player-boss Marc Abbott two points from his first two league encounters.
He said it was a ‘very satisfying’ return ‘in the context’, having also drawn 1-1 away to Ely City on December 27.
“In the context of the Ely match being Brady’s (Stone, manager) final game, it was never going to be easy, so we were happy with a point from it, and then to take a point off Stowmarket Town to follow it up is very satisfying,” Abbott said.
“We know how strong Stowmarket are, and the danger they present and the boys were brilliant.
“Our performance was excellent; so win, lose or draw, I would have been happy. It’s very encouraging.”
Joseph fired the team, who have admitted they are in a relegation dogfight in 17th place, into a 1-0 lead at the break before Stow equalised in the second half from a set piece.
Rovers then went a goal behind from the penalty spot and their chances to take anything from the game diminished until Stoker ripped up the script with a late goal.
They go into Saturday’s trip to Walsham-le-Willows (3pm) in positive spirits.
Abbott added: “We know we haven’t won in a while, but it’s a different team here now – the job ahead is to stay at Step 5, so we need to start gaining some momentum.
“Our last two results are a great foundation to now build on.
“Every game is tough away from home, and Walsham will be ready and will be hard to beat, but we are hoping the game can be the start of a positive run. We are targetting three points.”
Walsham sit one place above them in the league in 16th position but, with four points separating them, Rovers will remain in 17th place, regardless of the outcome.
However, three points are vital in keeping them from being cast adrift in the battle to remain off the bottom, Abbott said.
“My aim when I first came in was to bring back some players from the area,” he said. “The next aim is to start getting some points and closing the gap on the teams above us.
“Walsham are just above us, so it is an important game – it’s all part of a long term plan, but I’ve already seen enough to feel positive.”
More by this authorHannah Dolman