Head coach Joe White says Haverhill Rovers Ladies' S-Tech Women's Premiership title hopes do not rest on this weekend's clash with leaders
Joe White says this weekend’s top-of-the-table clash is not the ‘be all and end all’ for Haverhill Rovers Ladies and their S-Tech Women’s Premiership title hopes, writes Alex Moss.
Just one point separates Peterborough Northern Star Ladies Reserves and second-placed Rovers in the table after last Sunday’s results, which saw the leaders held to a 1-1 draw by Ketton Ladies.
Meanwhile, Haverhill, who had started the weekend in third place, climbed up to second and closed the gap on Peterborough after beating Cambridge City Ladies A 4-0.
A Joely Kirby brace, and goals from Kayleigh Nolan and Sophie Wing, sealed a second win in as many games in 2020 for Rovers.
The Premiership’s top two face off at the New Croft this Sunday (2pm), where a win for Haverhill would see them move to the summit. But head coach White is adamant regardless of the outcome there is still a long way of the season to go.
“At the end of the day, every game is important now in the run-in,” he said. “Results elsewhere helped us on Sunday, but for us the important thing was how we performed.
“It was a very mature performance, especially from a young squad, which has an average age of around 20 to 21.
“We’re now a point behind (the leaders), but we also have three games in hand, so it’s not panic stations for us if we lose. We’ve still got 15 games left after Sunday, and every game is as important for us.
“It’s one game at a time and Sunday is not the be all and end all; there’s still a long way to go.”
Rovers were boosted last weekend by the return of club captain Clair Andrews, making her first appearance back after missing five months with a knee injury.
“It was great to have Clair back on Sunday,” White said. “She’s our captain and has been out with a knee injury.
“She damaged the ligaments in her knee in our second game of the season, in the FA Cup. She’s a big influence.
“We brought her on and gave her 25 minutes, and she’ll continue with her rehab programme and get her more minutes.”
Andrews was one of several long-term injuries in the Rovers squad, with Cat Upton and Georgia England still out on the sidelines.
“We’ve had a few big injuries in the squad,” White said. “Cat Upton has been out and is one of our experienced members of the team.
“Georgia played for us earlier in the season and broke her leg, but she’s back training on Thursday to start her rehab.”
- See next week’s Echo for our first Heading Forward column – a monthly look at women’s football in the area with reporter Hannah Dolman.