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Covid-19 concerns on top of punishing injury list leads Haverhill Rovers to postpone Suffolk Premier Cup clash at Woodbridge Town




HaverhillRovers have agreed with Suffolk FA to postpone tonight's Suffolk Premier Cup Second Round tie at Woodbridge Town due to a high number of players being unavailable, some of whom are isolating while awaiting coronavirus test results.

Ali Shulver, Rovers' chairman, explained a punishing first-team injury list with an FA Vase game at West Essex coming up on Friday, meant player-boss Marc Abbott was relying on drawing heavily on the club's under-18s squad in order to put a team out at Notcutts Park.

But a number of that squad have had to get coronavirus tests and told to isolate until the results come back, due to being students at Impington Village College. The educational institution, north of Cambridge, has reverted to remote learning after two members of its sixth form tested positive for Covid-19 .

A number of Haverhill Rovers Under-18s players are awaiting the results of coronavirus tests, leading to the club to postpone tonight's Suffolk Premier Cup tie at Woodbridge Town
A number of Haverhill Rovers Under-18s players are awaiting the results of coronavirus tests, leading to the club to postpone tonight's Suffolk Premier Cup tie at Woodbridge Town

"First and foremost we have had 10 games since the start of September," said Shulver.

"Although the FA Cup was a nice distraction and financially we did well out of it, it has taken its toll on the squad.

"We have got a horrendous injury list at the moment – Marc told me on Saturday that seven to eight players in the first-team were affected and I have never known an injury list like it.

Haverhill Rovers chairman Ali Shulver (left) on the touchline with former manager James Bloomfield in last season's Suffolk Premier Cup defeat at home to Needham MarketPicture: Paul Tebbutt
Haverhill Rovers chairman Ali Shulver (left) on the touchline with former manager James Bloomfield in last season's Suffolk Premier Cup defeat at home to Needham MarketPicture: Paul Tebbutt

"We were planning on going down there (Woodbridge) tonight and fielding probably around half a team of the under-18 side but we have had something come up.

"We have a number of lads on the football programme at Impington Village College which is part of the problem.

"They have had a number of covid cases and some of those boys have been told to be tested and go into lockdown. It is probably five or six affected and makes it near impossible for us to field a side tonight.

"We have got the FA Vase on Friday so we have asked the FA if it could possibly be rescheduled with the injury list we have on top of not being able to fall back on these under-18 players.

"The good news is the two players who have come back so far have been negative.

"We have not had any cases in the club itself and it is more an association with a third party."

He said Suffolk FA had agreed to their request, with a rearranged date for the tie yet to be announced.

Shulver also confirmed the under-18s squad had not trained with the first team recently and their U18s were fortunate that there was no game scheduled this week.

Abbott's first team went down to a 4-0 defeat at Walsham-le-Willows in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division on Saturday.

It was the side's third 4-0 defeat on the trot, following games at home to Stanway Rovers and away to Whitton United leaving them in 17th position and with four points from seven matches.

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