Knockout blow for Pedlars
It's back to Ridgeons League action on Saturday for Swaffham Town after they were knocked out of the FACarlsberg Vase.They visit Stowmarket while the reserves are at East Harling (ko 2pm) and the A team are the guests at Shipdham (3pm).
It's back to Ridgeons League action on Saturday for Swaffham Town after they were knocked out of the FACarlsberg Vase.
They visit Stowmarket while the reserves are at East Harling (ko 2pm) and the A team are the guests at Shipdham (3pm).
Haverhill Rovers 4,
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Swaffham Town 1 (aet)
SWaffham were knocked out of the FAVase in the first qualifying round in extra time after being 1-1 at the end of normal time.
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Conditions were perfect for this high-profile fixture, the hosts mid-table of the Ridgeons Premier, the Pedlars mid-table in the division below.
Town were almost immediately under pressure from the Rovers attack. The Haverhill number 6 demonstrated length and power with a tremendous throw-in, needing a clearance from Dave Weaver-Pope.
Swaffham looked extremely nervous and under constant pressure could not settle. Haverhill took advantage of this and it only took till the 10th minute for a short corner and subsequent cross allowing Hunt to shoot, leaving keeper Lee Brookes no chance.
This provided the wake-up call that Swaffham needed and the emphasis and control of the match swung their way. Efforts by Gavin Norman. Andrew Hunter, David Spalding and Matthew Kenny all built confidence but to no avail.
Any reply by Haverhill was comfortably dealt with by David Spalding and Tom Rainford in the Swaffham central defence.
The teams went in at half-time with Haverhill still holding the advantage.
Immediate action in the second half saw Brookes' save hit the woodwork and the rebound ballooned over the bar. The Haverhill support was silenced in the 49th minute when a free-kick by Ben Russell came to Gavin Norman, who turned and hammered past the keeper.
It appeared that the advantage had turned to the underdogs. Further efforts from Russell and Ian Simmons, on for Weaver-Pope, narrowly missed.
A break by Haverhill following a mis-cued volley by Russell had Brookes make the save of the match, palming the ball to his left for a corner. Robbie Howling made his season debut, replacing Kenny in the 71st minute.
Rovers had a couple of further attacks, calling on Brookes again to produce the goods and a further attempt from the long throw thrashed wide.
In extra time, Swaffham were caught out almost immediately, allowing Harper to run straight through the middle, one against one with Brookes, the shot beating him for number two, six minutes into extra time.
The tie was put further away eight minutes later with a questionably off-side run by Haverhill.
It was clear the Premier Division team had more stamina, constantly putting Swaffham under pressure in the second period, leading to the eventual fourth goal in the 116th minute.
In all, a fine performance by the Swaffham squad, the score not necessarily reflecting the match.
Man of the match was closely contested with Tom Rainford getting the nod over Lee Brookes.
Many thanks to those supporters who went along to watch.
A belated thanks to the staff at ATS Swaffham who came to the rescue last week when the mower-tractor developed a puncture and couldn't be moved fron the pitch. The guys effected a repair in record time, many thanks from all at the club.