WIVENHOE TOWN 2 HAVERHILL ROVERS 3
Wivenhoe were cruelly denied any chance of not filling the third relegation spot in the Premier Division following a match that saw a controversial penalty for the home side and a Rory Jebb hat trick for the visitors, two of which came in added time.
THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
The home pitch was a huge helping hand in the hosts’ opening goal after 13 minutes, Joe Davis hitting a first time volley right of goal and 12 yards out and goalkeeper Charlie Turner
went down to make the save, only for the ball to take an awful bounce and go two feet than it normally should, over Turner
and into the far bottom left corner.
Haverhill thought they’d equalised on 20 minutes, Marc Abbott’s 25 yard free kick going towards Jordan Palmer and ending up straight in the net, but the kick was indirect so the goal was not awarded.
Jebb was also denied twice in the opening period, his 25 yard effort and header both being saved spectacularly by home ‘keeper Ben Gallifant.
Haverhill came out for the second half wondering how they were still behind and a fairly uneventful half took a turn when Justin Leavers came on for the away side just after the hour mark as they looked more threatening going forward.
In the 75th minute the game was level, Jordan Palmer dispossessing a home defender and riding two challenges before seemingly losing the ball; however, Leavers wouldn’t give up the cause and managed to get it across to Jebb, whose left foot volley from left of goal and just inside the penalty area went over Gallifant and into the far top corner.
Wivenhoe got what they must have thought was a winning goal in the 83rd minute, substitute Adam Hampson being played in and, as he went away from goal to round Turner, the goalkeeper’s outstretched foot seemed to take the ball away from him as he went to ground; a spot kick was awarded, however, and Hampson converted in.
With the clock ticking down Gallifant fumbled a 30 yard effort from Adam Sartini behind his goal when it could have gone anywhere and Palmer’s six yard diving header went wide of the mark as added time loomed.
Then, with five extra minutes played, Haverhill equalised for a second time, Jonathan Milne’s short cross from the right bye line being bundled in by Jebb at the far post with the close attentions of his marker.
Amazingly, less than sixty seconds later, the away side grabbed a winner, Luke Haines chipped the ball in from a central position and Jebb took it in his stride, touched it to his right to make space and dragged it without hitting a step into the bottom left corner past Gallifant to send supporters into a frenzy and cause several home players to slump to the ground as there was just enough time to kick off before the final whistle blew.
ROVERS : Turner, Cowdrey, Burr, Abbott (Leavers, 62), Holmes, Milne, Sartini, Haines, Jebb, Palmer, Halls (Oteng, 72). Sub not used – Wozniak.