Brentwood Town U21s 2 Haverhill Rovers U21s 3
Haverhill Rovers U21s made the trip to Ryman Premier Division Brentwood Town on Monday evening to play their U21 counterparts as the young Rovers side looked to build on their recent run of three straight wins.
With the Haverhill first team in action the night after it was always going to be difficult to offer Pete Betts more experienced players but this was seen as an opportunity to allow a number of U18 players to make the step up. Haverhill started the game well and retained the ball with the experienced Chris Claydon playing alongside Shulver and Easton-Mulcare in midfield as they were able to hit pockets and channels that caused the home defence problems. With the upper hand the Rovers then took the lead when Shulver and Stevenson combined in the midfield and played a through ball to Rory Jebb who found himself in a one on one with the home keeper before the composed striker coolly slid the ball into the bottom corner with ease.
Rovers continued to have the upper hand as they enjoyed the better possession and put the home defence under pressure with Burr causing problems down the left. As he delivered a good ball into the box that lead to Stevenson being brought down from a heavy challenge resulting in the award of a penalty. Jebb was the player to place the ball onto the spot before he again slotted the ball home for his sixth goal in two games.
The game thereafter became more even as Brentwood increased their work-rate but with the Rovers back four of Woodley, Howard, Luff and Bailey looking solid they were rarely able to trouble Tom Pinker in the Rovers goal until a rash challenge from Bailey in the box saw the ref again point to the spot this time in favour of the home team. The kick saw Pinker sent the wrong way to bring the home team back into the game. Rovers responded straight away and again went on the attack as they played some good football with Claydon and Shulver again enjoying some good possession in midfield. The ball was picked up on the left by Burr who found Jebb in the box who was on for his hat-trick before a good tackle from a home defender saw the ball fall into the path of Stevenson who fired home to restore the two goal cushion.
The second half was going to struggle to keep pace with the first and this seemed to be the case as this time Brentwood enjoyed good possession but lacked the final ball as Rover looked comfortable in defence, while Pinker showed good hands with any long range shots that came his way. Rovers still looked a threat on the counter as a Jebb then bought a good save out of the home keeper and Burr shot just wide. Brentwood then forced a number of corners and eventually one was to cause some slack defending by the Rovers as the home team were able to reduce the scores and generate a tight finish. The home team were by now throwing everything at the game but come up against a well organised Rovers team that included some good goalkeeping from Pinker as Haverhill were able to record their fourth win on the trot.
Next week Haverhill Rovers U21s are at home to Stotfold on 28 October, kick-off 7.45pm.