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Haverhill Rovers will move out of Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division relegation zone with a win at Brantham Athletic

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Haverhill Rovers manager Liam Aves felt it was still too early in the season to look upon last weekend’s home clash with Swaffham Town as a ‘must win’ fixture.

However, the recently-appointed boss is hopeful that the 5-0 victory will act as the springboard in Rovers’ bid for Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division survival.

Aves’ side headed into the match up with bottom-of-the-table Swaffham four points from safety, whilst holding a six-point advantage over their visitors.

Liam Aves takes his Haverhill Rovers side to face Brantham Athletic on Saturday. Picture: Mecha Morton
Liam Aves takes his Haverhill Rovers side to face Brantham Athletic on Saturday. Picture: Mecha Morton

“It’s still really early in the season to say it was a must win game,” said Aves. “If you say that, then it suggests that we’re not going to get much better as the season goes on and I believe we will.

“There are going to be some ups and downs and probably a couple of setbacks as well, but we’re starting to pick up results now.

“And there is no doubt it was a big result at the weekend. Hopefully it’s done a lot for the confidence and belief within the squad.

“If we can keep going like that, why do we have to settle for being safe? Maybe we could look to move up the table a bit more, but right now obviously the ultimate goal is to get ourselves safe.”

Haverhill can take another big step in the right direction on Saturday when they head to fourth-from-bottom Brantham Athletic, where a win would lift them out of the danger zone (3pm).

Again, Aves has stopped short of adopting a ‘must win’ mindset, although he is well aware the impact that another three points could have on his team.

He added: “It’s all about our performance. If we can match what we did against Swaffham then we’ve got a chance of getting a good result.

“We created plenty of chances against Swaffham and that’s the big thing.

“Everything else like shape, keeping the ball, defending set pieces – you can work on all of that in time, but if you’re not creating then you’re not going to score goals.

“We’re searching for some consistency and a win on Saturday will help us find some of that.”

While Rovers have kept two clean sheets in their previous three league outings, up the other end of the pitch Ryan Weaver certainly had no problems in front of goal against Swaffham.

The attacker scored a hat-trick alongside goals from Reiss Oteng and Tom Stoker.

“Weaves is a top lad,” said Aves. “I was very open and honest with him when I came in and said it didn’t matter if players had been here seven years or seven minutes, getting a place in the team is all about working hard and showing your quality.

“He’s really shown what I needed to see and is a good leader within the group.

“He’s a local lad and the fans love him his as well ­– he’s an important player for us.”

Meanwhile, Rovers have added former MK Dons youth team captain Louis Blair to their squad.

The defender has joined from Pitching In Isthmian League North Division side Basildon United.