Stiff Stanway test for Rovers
Haverhill Rovers will be without joint leading scorer Dalton O’Brien for their tough match at an in-form Stanway Rovers on Saturday (3pm).
O’Brien has nine goals from 22 starts and leads the scoring charts with Dan Cornwell.
Although his absence will be felt, Rovers player-manager Michael Shinn has no other availability issues ahead of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division meeting at The Hawthorns and has no plans to bring any other players in.
He said: “I’m quite pleased with what we’ve got in terms of the squad, when everyone is fit and available of course.
“I don’t feel we need to get too many bodies in, we are looking good as a unit.”
When the two teams last met on September 2, Stanway thrashed Rovers 6-0 at a time when the New Croft outfit was in a state of flux following the departure of manager Dean Greygoose and a number of the players he had brought in.
Much has happened since, with a raft of new arrivals, the appointment of Shinn and a notable upturn in results and performances.
Although Stanway have not lost in their last eight outings in all competitions (aside from a penalty shoot out defeat in the Essex Senior Cup) Shinn feels Rovers are capable of giving them a stern test.
“I think like last week (2-0 defeat to Hadleigh United) it will be a good test for us.
“We have matched Hadleigh other than in the scoreline and we have matched Felixstowe & Walton, so the teams at that end of the league we are coping with, whereas two of three months ago maybe we were not.
“We will see on Saturday if we can do it again.
“It will be good to see if we can compete against a team who, by all accounts, is physical and direct.”
Rovers will also be without Tyler Kemp who has been recalled by AFC Sudbury after a successful loan period during which he made eight appearances for Rovers.
Shinn is hopeful however, that once AFC’s injury list eases Kemp will be able to return to the New Croft.
Rovers have been bolstered by the return to the fray of Marcus Hunt, whose work commitments have kept him out for a few games.