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Rovers bow out with heads held high despite suffering hefty home defeat



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Haverhill Town v Leatherhead - Prince Mutswunguma..Pic - Richard Marsham. (4331955)
Haverhill Town v Leatherhead - Prince Mutswunguma..Pic - Richard Marsham. (4331955)

As the famous old saying goes: All good things must come to an end.

That was certainly the case for Haverhill Rovers on Saturday, who having swept through three rounds of this season’s FA Cup, were brought back down to earth with an almighty bump.

The visit of Leatherhead was always likely to represent the end of the road for Marc Abbott’s men, who operate two levels below on the non-league ladder.

Haverhill Town v Leatherhead - Ben Bradley..Pic - Richard Marsham. (4331952)
Haverhill Town v Leatherhead - Ben Bradley..Pic - Richard Marsham. (4331952)

But it was the clinical way in which the Bostik League Premier Division Tanners dealt with their Step 5 hosts that was particularly eye-catching, showing no mercy by scoring six unanswered goals at a wet New Croft.

Nevertheless, come the final whistle pride was the overwhelming emotion among the Rovers management team, having overseen a run to the second qualifying round for the just the third time since the turn of the millennium.

Assistant boss Paul Miles said: “Their second goal just before half-time is what pretty much killed the tie off.

“Up until that point we had done well and after conceding early on had managed to keep them out.

“It is tough after that because you have to make changes to try to get back into the game, and against a good side, that is never going to be easy.

“But the lads should be holding their heads up high. They should be proud because we have had a great run in front of some great support.

“Hopefully they can keep supporting us in the league because they were fantastic.

“Everyone has come together – the management, players, fans and the players in the youth teams. It shows Marc (Abbott, manager) is the right man for the job and we want more days like this.”

Haverhill Town v Leatherhead - Mickey Davis..Pic - Richard Marsham. (4331960)
Haverhill Town v Leatherhead - Mickey Davis..Pic - Richard Marsham. (4331960)

Shaun Okojie got the ball rolling for Leatherhead in the eighth minute when he raced away from the Rovers defence and slotted into the bottom corner.

Rovers battled well after that and also had a good chance through Ben Bradley, but he fired straight at Zaki Oualah.

The killer blow came five minutes before the break when Robert Cullen drilled in a half-volley, before visiting skipper Elliot Benyon had made it 4-0 within 12 minutes of the restart courtesy of a smart brace.

Travis Gregory completed the scoring with two of his own late on, one of which was a penalty after Jemel Fox had been penalised for a foul.

Rovers: Philp, Halls (Farrant 65), Fox, Noble, Holmes, Moody, Abbott (Tait 74), Bradley, Lovell, Mutswunguma (Haines 65), Davis