Hadleigh boss on the hunt for McGlone replacement

STRIKER SEARCH: Stuart Crawford, looking for a forward, was unhappy with a lacklustre start on Saturday
STRIKER SEARCH: Stuart Crawford, looking for a forward, was unhappy with a lacklustre start on Saturday

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Hadleigh United 1

Walsham-le-Willows 1 aet

Hadleigh boss Stuart Crawford is to speak to a striker tomorrow after revealing Lee McGlone looks to have played his last game for the club.

The former Needham Market frontman, who scored seven goals in nine appearances while on loan last season and one from six since signing permanently this campaign, was absent from the 1-1 stalemate against Walsham on Saturday after changing jobs.

It comes a month-and-a-half after the club lost Ben Deacon, top scorer for the past two seasons, to Brantham Athletic, leaving Crawford short on options up front ahead of hosting Cambridge Regional College in the league on Saturday (3pm).

Crawford said of McGlone: “He is a top player for this level but we can’t do anything about it as it is work-related and work comes first.

“If he is saying he cannot be available for so many games then we can’t afford to sit around, we have to go and get a striker.”

Former Brettsider Josh Mayhew, at Brantham with Deacon, turned down a return to the Millfield prior to Saturday with the club now set to open talks with another Premier Division striker, while Danny Allen is back in contention following sustaining a broken foot in pre-season.

Crawford believed the overall performance against Walsham, which went through extra-time level to force a replay last night (see www.
suffolkfreepress today), was their worst for some time, having won nine of their 11 prior to the game in all competitions.

A lethargic start by the home side, without Shane Wardley (holiday), saw Tom Agricole somehow divert past the post before Andrew Cusack gave Walsham the lead from the penalty spot after 24 minutes, sending Dan Heath the wrong way after Charlie Robinson went over under a dangled leg in a crowded box.

The lively Will Brown almost doubled Willows’ advantage with Heath saving with his legs.

Hadleigh began to pick up and could have gone into half-time level but for a flying save to his right by Duncan McAnally from Scott Chaplin’s free-kick and the crossbar coming to Walsham’s rescue to deny Ollie Canfer’s header.

The second half mainly belonged to the home side, who after Heath saved at the feet of Hughes early on, accepted a dollop of fortune to equalise when Trevor Newman diverted past his own goalkeeper from Ollie Brown’s whipped cross after 58 minutes.

Andrew Cusack saw a 35-yard free-kick saved by Heath and his a cross-cum-shot come back off the post, but it was Hadleigh who were cursing their luck as the tie went into extra-time, with the excellent Gavin Johnson twice denying a certain goal while Chaplin and Robinson both saw late efforts graze the top of the net.

Despite another tense 30 minutes short on clear-cut chances, with Hadleigh debutant Matt Downing nodded over, neither side could find the telling breakthrough.

Free Press man of the match: Oliver Brown. Full-back used the ball excellently throughout and defended stoutly.

Hadleigh: Heath, Brown, Sloots, McLaughlin, Goldfinch (c), Rose, Josiah, Canfer (Downing 70), Cassell (Blades 32), Calver, Chaplin. Unused subs: Barwick, Donnelly, De Larabell.