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Tough test for Rovers at home as relegation pressure ramps up




DAVID VERSUS GOLIATH: Sixteenth-placed Haverhill Rovers host third-placed Stowmarket Town this weekend in a game pitting a team pushing for promotion against a team fighting to avoid a relegation battle Picture: Mark Bullimore
DAVID VERSUS GOLIATH: Sixteenth-placed Haverhill Rovers host third-placed Stowmarket Town this weekend in a game pitting a team pushing for promotion against a team fighting to avoid a relegation battle Picture: Mark Bullimore

Haverhill Rovers risk being dragged down into the relegation battle as they host promotion-pushing Stowmarket Town on Saturday (3pm).

The New Croft side have played at least two — and as many as six — games more than the teams below them in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table, as they prepare to take on high-flying Stow.

A failure to register any points in their next few games could see the gap between the drop zone and their league position narrow significantly or even close, although it would also depend on results elsewhere

But player-manager Marc Abbott will be encouraged by their last outing, a 2-0 home win over Hadleigh United, albeit against a team also in the fight to stay in the Thurlow Nunn top flight.

They host a team on Saturday who have won 22 of their 33 matches this season, and have only lost once in their last 10.

That loss came against Saffron Walden Town (8th) on February 17, in a bit of a shock result —with Rovers having drawn 4-4 with the Essex side just two weeks before.

It was also a result that had frustrated Abbott as he felt his team had ample opportunities to secure a victory.

But it is now a performance that will add to Haverhill’s hope and determination to deliver another shock result in the league.

It has been a turbulent season for the club who changed manager mid-season, with their best results of the season coming in August (they gained points from 75% of their opening games of the season, which included a 50% win ratio).

Their worst month for results was January, picking up points from only a quarter of games.

But the club have been working to usher in a new attitude and approach to their first team throughout the season, with a bigger focus on youth progression and building the next generation of Rovers players from the youth ranks.

It is part, the club have said, of a long-term plan for the future, to ensure many more years of Thurlow Nunn football at the community sports venue in Haverhill.

• Haverhill Rovers U18s have been told their twice postponed quarter-final of the Boys Under 18 Midweek Cup at home to Kirkley & Pakefield will now be played on Thursday, March 15 (7.45pm).

Today they are due to host Royston Town U18s in the Cambridge Division of the Thurlow Nunn Youth League (7.45pm).

The young side, coached by first-team defender Jemel Fox, currently lie in third in the league.

• Meanwhile, plans to enter a women’s squad into a East region league next season are progressing well, with the management team now searching for sponsorship opportunities.

Contact assistant manager Kayleigh Steed on 07772 097974 for further information.



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