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Hadleigh United manager Steve Holder hopes to bring in a striker to get side firing again following home defeat to Haverhill Rovers



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Steve Holder is stepping up his search for a striker after seeing a toothless attacking display from his Hadleigh United side punished by lowly Haverhill Rovers in a 1-0 home defeat on Tuesday.

To make matters worse it was a pinball own goal off Ben Elliott mid-way through the second half which consigned the Brettsiders to a fifth straight defeat (four league) in all competitions.

It was a second successive game that they had failed to find the back of the net, following on from Saturday’s 3-0 Buildbase FA Vase exit at Redbridge.

Max Dinnell reacts to a missed opportunity on a frustrating night for Hadleigh on Tuesday Picture: Mecha Morton
Max Dinnell reacts to a missed opportunity on a frustrating night for Hadleigh on Tuesday Picture: Mecha Morton

With marksman Joel Glover, whose six goals in five appearances had fired their positive start, abroad until early December, while he himself is injured, Holder sees the transfer market as the only way out of the run.

“It’s been like this for the last three or four weeks,” he said when reflecting on a powderpuff display against a Rovers side who had only previously recorded one win in their eight Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division matches to sit second from bottom.

“We have had a lot of the play but just can’t put the ball in the back of the net.

Hadleigh's Harry Brown tries to get past Rovers’ Jacob Joseph Picture: Mecha Morton
Hadleigh's Harry Brown tries to get past Rovers’ Jacob Joseph Picture: Mecha Morton

“I knew this was going to happen when the striker (Glover) went away.

“I’ve given all the other boys a real good chance now and I don’t think some of them are up to it, if I’m being perfectly honest.”

He added: “I tried to come back myself last Thursday and my calf is not right. As soon as I’m fit I’ll hopefully be back in the team but we are going to have to look for a striker and I’ve told a few of the boys in there tonight.”

Hadleigh started brightly but for all of their attacking territory the only real save they drew from Cambridge United loanee Jonah Gill in the first period was pushing out a skidding long-range effort from Sam Sharp.

Max Dinnell runs through on goal for Hadleigh Picture: Mecha Morton
Max Dinnell runs through on goal for Hadleigh Picture: Mecha Morton

Up the other end a rare foray forward for Rovers almost put them ahead were it not for a fine low save from Nick Punter turning away Josh Brooke’s fierce shot after a fine run.

Max Dinnell bore down on goal within seconds of the second period starting, only for the Hadleigh midfielder to scuff his shot to make it an easy gather for Gill.

The same player drilled wide of the post while Sharp’s looping header was more routine work for the Rovers ‘keeper.

Former Old Newton United manager Martin ‘Macca’ McConnell has come in as Steve Holder’s assistant at Hadleigh United Picture: Mecha Morton
Former Old Newton United manager Martin ‘Macca’ McConnell has come in as Steve Holder’s assistant at Hadleigh United Picture: Mecha Morton

But it was a defensive lapse up the other end in the 67th minute which finally broke the deadlock in bizarre fashion.

The Hadleigh defence allowed a goal kick to bounce into their area and after Ryan Weaver flicked it goalwards past Punter, Matt Paine’s attempted clearance cannoned back off Elliott before landing in the net.

Rovers should have doubled their lead thereafter but Stokes could not hit the target as things twice opened up for him while Punter did well to thwart Weaver when one-on-one.

Ransome’s free kick five minutes into added time brought a diving save out of Gill as Hadleigh succumbed to another disappointing home defeat.

It leaves the Brettsiders, who do not now play again until a trip to Lakenheath a week on Saturday (3pm), in 11th position, five points above Rovers, who have played two games less, in the final relegation place.

'Macca' joins dugout team

Holder has brought in former Old Newton United manager Martin ‘Macca’ McConnell as his assistant, who joined him in the dugout on Tuesday.

"Hopefully he can come in and offer a little bit of help for me because there is a lot of stuff you do and people don't realise," he said.

"I have known him for a few years. He's done well at Old Newton over five years or so.

"Hopefully he can help me step it up and take a bit of pressure off me."

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