Victory seen as a 2018 ‘springboard’
Cody Frazier’s faith faltered at 2-1 down, as he started to think ‘it’s not going to be our day’, before Haverhill Borough netted twice in added time to claim a sensational 3-2 victory in the town’s football derby.
The assistant manager — who was in charge for the home side with Anthony Choat on holiday — admitted he had his doubts during the game on Friday night (December 29), but that only made the victory that much sweeter when it came.
And he has said the win was the ‘springboard’ the side needed to kick their season on into 2018.
He praised the ‘determined’ performance of a team who refused to give up in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division fixture and said it was a ‘massive three points’.
Despite going two goals behind in the first 25 minutes, Borough first pulled one back at the start of the second half, before drama unfolded in front of the 463-strong crowd with a 90th minute equaliser, followed by a winner two minutes into added time.
“It’s easy to say it was any other game, but it wasn’t, it was a derby,” Frazier said.
“And it was one win each. We wanted to put the town right after losing to Rovers in the last one (Borough lost 1-0 on November 3, in the reverse fixture).
“Hopefully it was a good enough game to warrant some of the fans coming back, that’s what we would like to achieve.
“We’ve lost them this season but a game like that can bring them back — it had it all: drama, action, a disallowed goal.
“This can be a springboard for us now.
“Our results of late have been there or thereabouts, with only one loss and one draw in the last five now.
“And we look like a different team, with the players we have brought in driving our other players on.
“This will definitely kick us on into 2018.”
But it isn’t an easy path into the new year for the 20th placed league side, who are due to face fourth-placed Brantham Athletic away on Saturday (3pm).
However, it follows their first meeting of the season on December 2, a 1-1 draw, a game which kick-started the team’s better run of form. And the return leg does not intimidate the side who are new to this level of football.
“I want to see more of the same,” Frazier said. “I think we can go there and make things very difficult for them.
“You just never know with the way we are playing and the confidence we have at the moment.
“Anything is possible, and a big win could be on the cards if we play with the passion we showed against Rovers.
“Our confidence was, of course, knocked, as this team won so much last season and we were on top.
“It had been that way for a while for us at the club, as we kept climbing up the league and getting better.
“So we didn’t know what a loss felt like as a club and as a team, and it’s been a hard thing to learn.
“It was always going to be a difficult season coming into a new league and a better standard of football though, so we were prepared for a tough season.
“But, in some ways, it’s been harder than we thought — particularly in defence — and they’ve played really well this year but still not got anything out of a game.
“That’s been hard for the boys, it’s been mentally taxing.”
He added that a strengthened defence and new tactics had made a big difference to the number of goals they had conceded and pushed them on to a second win over their neighbours.
He said: “It’s tough when you go on a losing run, which has happened to us this season, to then bounce back and we definitely struggled.
“You get into a mindset that makes it easier to lose, but that’s behind us now.
“The new players have stepped up and, while I think the occasion got to us in the first half, we showed in that second half what we can do in the second half of this season.
“So I think we might have turned that corner now and found our feet in the league.
“So hopefully 2018 is going to be much better.
“Starting with what I hope will be a great game against Brantham.”