First defeat since return for Haverhill Rovers player manager Marc Abbott as Brantham Athletic take the points
Marc Abbott tasted defeat for the first time since returning as player-manager at Haverhill Rovers, as Brantham Athletic struck twice in the first half to prevail 2-0 at the New Croft on Saturday.
An overhead kick from Jack Marshall, and a Harrison Bacon penalty, ensured it was the visitors who took home all three points and completed a Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division double on Rovers this season.
With three draws and a win from his first four outings since starting his second spell in charge, Abbott’s men welcomed a Brantham side who had won two of their last three games, both with clean sheets.
Boss Abbott made two changes to the side which started in the 1-1 draw at Swaffham Town the previous weekend, as Sam Mills and Ben Tait were both handed starts.
An even start to proceedings saw little in the way of chances for either side, before Michael Brothers fired over the bar for Brantham, and then at the other end Ryan Gibbs had an effort parried away by Callum Robinson, the visiting goalkeeper.
Brantham broke the deadlock midway through the first half, as a corner from Bacon into the Rovers box fell to Marshall, who sent the ball past James Philp to put his side in front.
The hosts looked for a way back into the encounter and Justin Leavers found himself through on goal, but the Brantham defence did well to get in the way of the shot.
The visitors doubled their lead just before the break from the penalty spot.
After captain Alfie Carroll was penalised for handball in the box, Bacon converted the spot kick to make it 2-0.
Abbott brought on Tom Stoker and Max Dinnell, in place of Leavers and Ben Tait, on the hour mark, as Rovers searched for a goal to halve their arrears, but it did not materalise.
Rovers remain in 17th place in the Premier Division table, still eight points clear of basement dwellers Hadleigh United, ahead of hosting 13th-placed Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday (3pm).