Home   Haverhill   Sport   Article

Haverhill Rovers player-manager Marc Abbott says side must back up win at Hadleigh United to provide turning point in season



More news, no ads

LEARN MORE


Despite being encouraged by Tuesday’s away win, Haverhill Rovers’ player-boss Marc Abbott says they now have to back it up at The New Croft to make it a turning point in their season.

An own goal midway through the second half at an out-of-form Hadleigh United saw a dogged display by a depleted side rewarded with a 1-0 victory to halt a run of five straight defeats in all competitions.

Four of those had come in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division to leave them in the bottom two after eight matches.

Haverhill Rovers' players celebrate at the final whistle - but player-boss Marc Abbott wants them to build on the victory to be able to say it is a turning point Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill Rovers' players celebrate at the final whistle - but player-boss Marc Abbott wants them to build on the victory to be able to say it is a turning point Picture: Mecha Morton

On Saturday Rovers had fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 (Stoker 41’, Abbott 65’) at home to lower-league Maccabi London Lions before exiting the Buildbase FA Vase 5-4 on penalties.

And ahead of back-to-back home games in the league, starting with 12th-placed Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday before high-flying Wroxham visit a week later (both 3pm), Abbott wants more of what they produced on Tuesday.

“We don’t get too caught up in what people say around the town and around football,” he said.

Jack Martin looks to get a ball into the box despite the attentions of Hadleigh's Yoe Yaxley Picture: Mecha Morton
Jack Martin looks to get a ball into the box despite the attentions of Hadleigh's Yoe Yaxley Picture: Mecha Morton

“I think there is a lot of people that do like to talk and have an opinion and look, everyone can see that Haverhill Rovers Football Club, at the minute, has a first team that is really stretched.

“I think for us we have maintained that confidence and I think we have seen a real improvement in our defending tonight where we have limited them to chances outside the box or from crosses.

“I think going forward we have to sustain that and we have to keep that quality and hopefully it will get us to a better point.

“I don’t think it is a turning point yet, I think it is too early to say and we have to back it up with back-to-back wins or back-to-back clean sheets but I am hopeful.”

Haverhill Rovers' players celebrate what proved to be the winning goal Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill Rovers' players celebrate what proved to be the winning goal Picture: Mecha Morton

Tuesday’s success came with nine players unavailable through a combination of injuries, work commitments and the impact of the fuel crisis. It led to Abbott signing on 17-year-old central midfielder or defender Billy Hunt, who has played through the age groups at Rovers, hours before kick-off to go straight into the side.

And the player-manager was pleased with his mature display in the heart of the defence.

He said: “What he has done tonight is a real good platform for what he can do. I have full trust in him and I think he can be a real good player for Haverhill Rovers.

Jack Martin bursts forward for Rovers Picture: Mecha Morton
Jack Martin bursts forward for Rovers Picture: Mecha Morton

“He is a local lad who loves the club and he has got a good attitude.”

The side will be desperate to bag a first home win of the season at the fourth attempt, having had two league losses and two cup defeats, this weekend.

Haverhill Rovers player-manager Marc Abbott in action Picture: Mecha Morton
Haverhill Rovers player-manager Marc Abbott in action Picture: Mecha Morton

“Our place is a real nice place to come to,” Abbott said. “The pitch is the best in the league, the ground is the best in the league and everyone loves coming there at the minute.

“We’ve got to be ready for Kirkley to attack us. They’ve got some good players, similar to us they’ve had some injury problems, I believe, but we know what they bring. They are a good side, they are very athletic, very physical so by all means we know we’ve in for a very tough game.”

He added: “We’ve got two tough games at home in obviously Kirkley and then Wroxham and we will assess where we are after that.”

“I think for us, look, we need to keep chalking up points and we know the tests that are going to come upon us. But hopefully we can keep chipping away for good performances and resilient performances, keeping clean sheets and also having that goal threat which we have shown tonight.”

It was a display Abbott hopes his side, now level on points with third-from-bottom Fakenham Town in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, can use as a template to climb clear of the threat of relegation.

“Obviously the boys are happy as we have had a tough time of late,” he said, having ended their four-game losing run in all competitions (three league). “But I think we will keep our feet firmly on the ground and hopefully that is the start of how we are going to play away from home; being tough to beat and resilient.

“I think the biggest thing was keeping a clean sheet. I said that at half-time that it would give us the platform.

“Like you’ve seen with the goal, it was a bit of a scruffy goal but on reflection of play I think we had four really good chances to win it and should have stretched the lead whereas their chances came from crosses and balls into the box, just half chances really.

“I think on the balance of chances I thought we were the better side. We had the better chances. We obviously had a few injury problems and fuel problems and bits and we were really stretched today.”

Read more: All the latest Suffolk sport

Read more: All the latest news from Haverhill