Thetford Town 1 Haverhill Rovers 3
Haverhill Rovers made the trip to league strugglers Thetford Town for their last game before Christmas and were welcomed by a very bumpy pitch that was going to challenge both teams.
Rovers looked the sharper team from the off as Hunt playing in midfield for the Rovers marshalled the middle of the park alongside Baker and Gardner. Kicks soon caused problems for the Thetford left back as the Rovers youngster made some impressive runs and forced a number of corners that were being well delivered by Haines with his left foot in-swinging deliveries and it was from one of these corners that Rovers took the lead when a corner found the head of Farrant who headed home to break the deadlock.
Rovers continue to have the upper hand as Weaver and Haines both went close to increasing the lead before Kicks pulled up with a groin strain and was replaced by Longley down the right side. Thetford then forced a corner and, against the run of play, they were able to draw level in a similar way to the Rovers goal as a deep corner was headed past Archer giving the Rovers keeper no chance. The remainder of the half was a scrappy affair with neither side able to get the upper hand as passes commonly went astray.
Rovers started the second half in a more determined mood as they went straight at the home defence and forced an early corner that was again well delivered by Haines as his kick was met with a powerful header from Hunt who hit the bar and then was on hand to meet the rebound with another header that the home keeper did well to save to his right hand side.
Weaver was looking lively up front for Rovers as he caused the home defence problems with his pace and was on hand to give Rovers the lead when a good through ball from Wilderspin found Weaver who chipped the ball over the advancing Thetford keeper and into the net. Rovers continued to look the brighter team and it was not long before the ball was in the back of the Thetford net again when Gardner played in a cross from the left that was met by fellow midfielder Baker who headed the ball past the advancing home keeper.
Thetford then tried to throw men forward as they had to address the Rovers lead as Archer was kept busy in the Rovers goal with a number of set-piece deliveries whilst his team looked dangerous on the break.
Rovers should then have extended their lead on two occasions when the referee to everyone’s bemusement twice sounded the whistle to award Rovers free kicks when on both occasions they were clean through on goal. The first seeing the returning Scott Kemp clean through with only the keeper to beat and then in similar fashion happened to Weaver when the Rovers frontman was clean through only to hear the sound of the ref’s whistle to pull play back to award Rovers a free kick for infringements made in the build-up. Rovers looked comfortable through to the end as they were able to pick up another three points and climb to sixth place in the table.
The next game at The New Croft is a Boxing Day derby against Long Melford which kicks off at the earlier time of 11am and a large crowd is expected.
TEAM: Archer, Moody, Kemp T, Hunt, Farrant, Wilderspin, Haines (Kemp S 67), Baker, Weaver, Kicks (Longley 32), Gardner
Unused subs: Jebb, Newnes, Bailey