Haverhill Rovers boss Ben Cowling calls on his side to get their heads down ahead of Whittlesey Athletic trip
Haverhill Rovers boss Ben Cowling believes his 16th-placed side have got to ‘get their heads down’ and push towards a top-half finish in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North after they were knocked out of the League Challenge Cup fourth round in midweek.
Rovers hosted First Division South outfit Harlow Town on Tuesday night looking for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition but fell to a 4-1 defeat with two late goals from the visitors confirming their exit.
The New Croft outfit had fallen behind after 12 minutes but got back on level terms when Tom Debenham scored from the penalty spot.
However, the visitors quickly regained their advantage minutes after the break.
Things went from bad to worse for Rovers as Luke Haines went off injured when the home side had used all of their substitutes, which saw them go gung-ho for an equaliser that Harlow eventually capitalised on.
“I don’t think the scoreline did us justice to be honest. It’s probably the best we’ve played for a couple of weeks,” said Cowling.
“I thought we were very competitive in the first half and got ourselves into four or five really good positions where on another day we would have scored.
“The level of performance for a long time was very good. I thought it was a very good game of football, very end-to-end, both teams had lots of chances and they just showed a bit more composure in front of goal with a couple of chances than we did.”
The midweek cup exit marked three defeats in a row in all competitions for Rovers and in all three of those games they have conceded four goals.
They will aim to break their poor run of form tomorrow when they travel to 14th-placed Whittlesey Athletic (3pm) – who Cowling’s side beat 2-1 away in the second round of the League Challenge Cup back in September.
“We’ve been out-worked and out-fought in a lot of cases. The players know this. I think Tuesday night was a really good response to that. We were competitive all over the pitch, won our battles and asked questions,” said Cowling.
“I don’t think we’ve met a team yet where it’s not about us, which is nice.
“We can talk all we want about the group of players that we’ve got but we now need to get our heads down and get ourselves in the top half of the table.
“We need to be better and I think we will be.”
When asked about the team he has available for selection tomorrow, Cowling chuckled and responded with: “Who isn’t injured?”.
He labelled both Milo Holmes and Haines as ‘serious doubts’ for their trip to Whittlesey but will be boosted by the return of top-scorer Joe Greenslade-Cross, who has netted 19 times in as many games for Rovers in all competitions this season.
Cowling did have some positive injury news on Tuesday night however, as Ryan Geoghegan played his first minutes for the first time a few years after recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury.