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First Team - Match centre

Haverhill Rovers
Norwich United
Sat 8 Mar 15:00 - Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 73

A game of two halves!

The Planters started quickly, but poor defending put us on the back foot early in the game, conceeding two poor goals.

The trip to the New Croft looked to be an interesting fixture, with both sides not having a great start to 2014, the Planters boosted by their good result against Diss and Haverhill welcoming Dan Cornwell back from injury whose injury coincided with their poor run.

The Planters playing into the wind, kicked off and went on the front foot trying to play progressive football. After 15 minutes Haverhill gave advanced warning that they weren't going to just roll over and let the Planters run the show, a miss hit shot from outside the box was headed goalwards drawing a good save from Ben Nower.

Haverhill were buoyed by this and started to press and get a foothold in the game. On 20 minutes Rovers were awarded a free kick just outside the box following a poor challenge by Tom Jeal. Ben Nower set up a strong five man wall guarding his left hand post, Cornwell took the kick hitting it low and hard under the wall past Ben into the left of the goal. Getting the ball up and over the wall from 20 yards would have taken an excellent strike, so you'd have to question why the wall appeared to jump. I think Ben summed it up when discusted by his wall, shouted it might as well not have been their!

Haverhill Rovers v Norwich United 08/03/14
38 photos

Six minutes later Haverhill pressing down their right got a second when the United defence appeared to get drawn to the ball like a kids team, both Cornwell and Ofusu the two Haverhill front men peeled off to the back post, a neat cross cut out the whole of the defence and Ofusu nodded it home 2 - 0 Haverhill.

Not having a game last Saturday the boys were looking sleepy and not on their game. It took thirty five minutes before they started to take control of the game, attack being the best form of defence they started to take control, but giving Haverhill a two goal start looked a big ask.

Getting back into the game a free kick from Adam Bennett crashed against the corner of the goal and post, two inches lower it would have been a contender for goal of the season, Paul Cook and Jamie Forshaw were causing the Rovers defence all sorts of problems. Just before half time a long throw from the right was flicked on and met by Andrew Eastaugh whose strike goalwards drew a brilliant save by Greygoose between the Haverhill posts. The ball was cleared for another throw in almost an identical spot. Jamie Speller launched it in, it was met on the front post by Paul Cook who flicked it on, Steve Shipley met it with an over head kick which beat Greygoose, 2 - 1 a great time to score.

After five minutes of time added on, the whistle blew for half time. As the boys left the pitch, the look on Hilts and Johns faces didn't bode well for the boys having a quiet break.

Hilts sent the boys out early for the second half with the words get out there and fight, be more direct. It worked as the boys took just 35 seconds to get back on level terms. The changes at half time saw Matt Blake replace Tom Jeal, with Ben Jones dropping into the holding midfield role, from the kickoff Jamie Forshaw turned quickly on a ball into the box and got a shot off which came back off the post, Paul Cook following up put the ball away, 2 - 2 all square. Game on!

The Planters were in total control pressing high up the field and enjoying their football, on the hour United made the breakthrough and went ahead, when Andrew Eastaugh fought hard in the Haverhill box flicked the ball on to Paul Cook who put the ball away 2 - 3 a perfect turn around. 3 goals in 15 minutes either side of half time. on 70 minutes Scott Woodgate replaced Jamie George.

On 74 minutes Woody went on a lung busting run down the right, layed the ball off to Jamie Forshaw who slipped in Matt Blake to finish neatly 2 - 4 game over. The boys had smiles on their faces following a really good come back.

Jamie Forshaw was replaced on 80 minutes by Gary Gilmore, Jamie had put in a real shift, Haverhill couldn't handle his pace and guile. The game finished with yet another quality set piece from Adam Bennett which thumped the Haverhill post. A really good win, eventually!

Looking at individual skill and quality, Ships overhead kick to score the first, Woodys run for the fourth, Gary Gilmores piece of skill on the byeline turning two defenders in a foot of space leaving them scratching their heads in amazement were all noticeable but Cookies man of the match performance, scoring twice plus an assist plus and 90 minutes of all action in both boxes was the highlight well done Paul!

Saturday sees Thetford coming to Plantation Park for a 12pm kickoff as part of the Norfolk Ground Hop, when Jordan Rocastle will be testing himself against his old team mates Rocky has recently returned to Norfolk from Hampton and Richmond to join Thetford.

United: Nower, Speller, Cusack, Jeal (Blake 46) Shipley, Eastaugh, Forshaw (Gilmore 80), Jones, Cook, Bennett, George ( Woodgate 70) Unused sub:- Britcher.

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Paul Cook

Player of the Match

Paul Cook

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League round up

Other Premier Division results

FC Clacton
Hadleigh United
Diss Town
Felixstowe & Walton United
Newmarket Town
Brantham Athletic


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Brightlingsea Regent 38 83
2. Felixstowe & Walton United 38 81
3. Hadleigh United 38 80
4. Gorleston 38 78
5. Godmanchester Rovers 38 77
6. Norwich United 38 73
7. Haverhill Rovers 38 63

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