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Haverhill Rovers show good character to claim a point in Liam Aves' first game as manager



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If Liam Aves was hoping for a routine win from his first game in charge of Haverhill Rovers, his players certainly had other ideas.

Aves, who was confirmed as the news Rovers manager at the weekend, watched on last night as his side found themselves 2-0 down to Ely City heading into half-time at The New Croft. To rub further salt into the Haverhill wound, both goals were scored by their former striker Ryan Gibbs.

However, Rovers got themselves back level after the restart via an Isaac Skubich brace, with Ely also seeing goalkeeper Harry Reynolds red carded.

Liam Aves saw his new Haverhill Rovers side pick up a point from last night's six-goal contest. Mark Westley
Liam Aves saw his new Haverhill Rovers side pick up a point from last night's six-goal contest. Mark Westley

And yet the 10-man Robins retook the lead as Gibbs completed his hat-trick from a free kick, but Aves' men were not to be a denied a shared of the spoils as Jake Williams ensured the game ended 3-3.

By Aves' own admission there is plenty for him and the players to work on over the coming weeks and months, but overall he was pleased with what he witnessed during his first 90 minutes in charge.

"It has been a bit of a mad week with sorting some ins and outs, so it was just good to get the squad together out on the pitch and it was actually a really enjoyable game," he said.

"We tried to make it simple for the lads and take a bit of the pressure off. We got the ball in the opposition's half quicker and played from there.

The new boss saw plenty of positives from his team's performance. Picture: Mark Westley
The new boss saw plenty of positives from his team's performance. Picture: Mark Westley

"The character they showed from being two down and the belief to keep going was really pleasing.

"We put an emphasis on attacking and being more of a threat. The lads listened and that was a big positive.

"The defensive side of things will be worked on in time. We've not been able to have a training session yet, so some of these things will take time.

"But overall I'm really happy with how it went – there was a lot of positives to take from it."

Isaac Skubich opened his goalscoring account for Rovers. Picture: Mecha Morton
Isaac Skubich opened his goalscoring account for Rovers. Picture: Mecha Morton

One of those positives was the performance of Skubich, who along with striker Freddie King, made his debut in a Rovers shirt.

The pair are well known to Aves from his stints coaching at AFC Sudbury and Coggeshall Town, and they have arrived on dual registration deals from the latter.

"They are in and around the first team at Coggeshall," added Aves. "I get on well with the new managers there and they are keen for the lads to get some fitness in them and play some football.

"They're with us on dual reg at the moment and I'm sure they'll be good additions when available."

Freddie King has joined on a dual registration deal. Picture: Mecha Morton
Freddie King has joined on a dual registration deal. Picture: Mecha Morton

It is likely to be a busy period of comings and goings at Rovers while Aves strives to build his squad.

He explained: "It might be a case of some lads come in initially, play a couple of games and then move on. Others will come in, stay for the rest of this season and beyond.

"Coming in (as a manager) during a season makes it a bit tougher so we're going to need to be patient.

"The aim is to get a settled squad together as quickly as possible so we can kick on, but it will take some moving around."

Rovers will be at home again on Saturday when Woodbridge Town will be their visitors (3pm).

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