Hadleigh United end winless run with comfortable victory at Haverhill Rovers as incoming manager Liam Aves watches on
Hadleigh United showed incoming new Haverhill Rovers manager Liam Aves the scale of his challenge as they ended their eight-game winless run with a comfortable 3-0 scoreline at The New Croft this afternoon.
James Ross was gifted possession before firing in a long-range effort in the 12th minute before Kyle Cassell's close-range finish finally doubled their advantage 12 minutes from time.
Jake Eady added the icing on the cake for Steve Holder's side by converting a goalmouth scramble in the fifth minute of added time.
It ensured second-from-bottom Rovers' search for a first home victory of the season goes on while it was a fifth game without a victory.
With Aves' appointment set to be formally announced following the match, his influence was already evident on the Rovers teamsheet, which included four new signings to mitigate the impact of three suspensions; Luke Haines, Ryan Weaver and Efraim Romanos.
All four had been with Aves at his former club AFC Sudbury, where he managed the reserves before stepping into Mark Morsley's first-team management team last season, ahead of taking up a coaching role at Coggeshall Town this term.
Teenage forwards Josh Ambrose and Jake Banyard, the latter on the bench who he had brought across to Coggeshall, were joined as debutants by central midfielder Conor Sculock, who had been with Stowmarket Town, and centre-back Josh Hughes.
But it was chairman Ali Shulver who was in charge of the team for a second successive game, following last weekend's 0-0 draw at bottom club Swaffham Town, with interim manager Dave Walton unavailable again.
With Hadleigh's regular goalkeeper Nick Punter injured, Ben Mayhew, dual-registered with Stanton, came in between the posts for the visitors.
The sides exchanged chances early on with new signing Scurlock curling a free kick well over the crossbar before Jack Martin made a good block to deny Josh Cheetham following a corner.
But after an encouraging start from the hosts they shot themselves in the foot in the 12th minute, leading to the opening goal.
Goalkeeper Philp had the ball at his feet under no pressure but sent a kick straight into the path of winger James Ross. With Philp desperately back-pedalling, he drove forward before firing high into the left-hand side of the net.
Ambrose fired over the bar from long-range as Rovers looked to find a quick reply but from then on it was the visitors who dominated the rest of the half without being able to add to their tally.
The nearest they came was when Philp had to push Mason Ransome's free kick round his left-hand post while the 'keeper was also forced into a save from a low Cassell shot.
Hadleigh picked up where they left off in the second half with Philp soon having to turn an Eady shot round his right-hand post.
There was a real danger of an own goal just before the hour mark but Philp was alert to push it clear.
It was not until the 67th minute that Rovers threatened with Mayhew fisting away a Scurlock free kick into the box before Tom Stoker's shot was deflected wide after he cut into the box.
The crucial second goal for Hadleigh finally arrived in the 78th minute, via a counter attack. Ransome tried to catch Philp out after he slipped over, and although the shot-stopper recovered to make the save, it fell straight to Cassell who guided it inside the left-hand post from just inside the area.
Banyard, on for his Rovers debut, had a shot blocked on the edge of the area before fellow substitute Billy Hunt did well to recover the ball from Kade Ivatt when he was bearing down on goal for Hadleigh.
With two minutes to play Scurlock saw a long-range shot land on top of the visitors' net, but it was as near as they were to come to a goal.
The impressive Philp made a one-on-one save to deny Ivatt but Hadleigh got their third five minutes into stoppage time when Eady stabbed home after Rovers failed to clear a corner.
It ensured Hadleigh got the winning margin they deserved on an afternoon where they were better in every department.
Aves will hope to see the green shoots of a recovery when he takes full charge for the visit of Ely City at The New Croft on Wednesday (7.45pm).
Rovers: Philp, Davies, Martin, O'Hara, Carroll (c) (Hunt 61'), Hughes, Joseph (Banyard 59'), Scurlock, Ambrose, Williams (Butt 88'), Stoker. Unused subs: Hussein, Kimber.
Hadleigh: Mayhew, Elliott, Eady, S Cheetham, Paine (c), Taylor, Ross, J Cheetham, Cassell, Dinnell, Ransome (Ivatt 82'). Unused subs: Harvey, Lambert, Brown, Stone.
Suffolk News Man of the Match: James Ross. Had the precision to score the opening goal and provided problems down Haverhill's left-hand side all afternoon.