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Haverhill Borough in good spirits heading into important clashes with Brimsdown

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Haverhill Borough head into successive bottom-of-the-table matches with Brimsdown with manager Peter Betts confident his young side can turn their season around and pull clear of the single potential relegation spot.

The New Croft outfit were dumped out of the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup 2-1 at lower-league East Bergholt United on Saturday in what was their 12th game without a win in all competitions.

In fact, that 5-3 victory against Holland FC on August 31 was Borough’s only success of the season so far.

Peter Betts' Haverhill Borough have a couple of big games on the horizon. Picture: Mecha Morton
Peter Betts' Haverhill Borough have a couple of big games on the horizon. Picture: Mecha Morton

It leaves them bottom of the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South table with six points from 17 games. But ahead of travelling to Tilbury FC to face ground-sharing Brimsdown on Saturday (3pm) they are only a point behind their opponents with a game in hand.

A quirk of the fixture list means they will then host the same side a week later.

And the New Croft’s facilities manager Betts, who stepped back into the dugout with the club not finding a successor to Guy Habbin in the summer, is confident they will not be left hoping for a relegation reprieve.

“Between now and the end of the season there is more than enough games of football to make sure that we stay out of that bottom place and we remain at Step 6 for next year,” he said.

“We’ve got Brimsdown now who have picked up lately in terms of being competitive with a new manager, coaches and players and I’m sure going down to Tilbury isn’t going to be an easy place to go.

“However, if we can get a positive result there and in the return the following week before you know it you’ve close the gap on all the other teams around you.”

Despite the defeats having racked up, he revealed the team spirit is high heading into the double header.

“It’s a really strange one because if you’re in the dressing room at the moment and around the group morale is surprisingly really good because performances nine times out of 10 have been good, we’ve just not got the rewards,” he said.

“It is a bit of naivety and we need to learn from that.

“The ruthless side of me says we are still two or three senior players short. But I think results will improve in the second half of the season as players will adapt.”

After tough games against promotion-chasing sides, the fixture list has thrown them what appears to be a lifeline to get back on track, but Betts says their attitude must be right to take advantage.

“We have arguably been better when we’ve played the better teams,” he said. “We lost against Ipswich Wanderers and Buckhurst Hill with injury-time winners.

“I think if we can show the same attitude and application as we did when we played against those top four teams we will be fine.

“I think the biggest challenge we have got at the moment is scoring goals when we’re on top, like on Saturday in the second half at 1-1. It was wave after wave of attacks for 20 minutes before they went and scored again.”

A combination of Covid-19, injuries and unavailability means his options have been severely depleted in recent games but Betts is hoping to have injured senior players Ryan Kent, Rafal Wozniak and Finlay Fletcher (pictured left) back in the ‘next week or two’.

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