Hadleigh United gear up for Leyton Orient test

HADLEIGH United manager Stuart Crawford does not expect to be involved in much more business this summer as he attempts to mould his squad together.

The Brettsiders’ boss was on the look-out for a targetman, but has eased off in his search after failing to identify a suitable available target.

Instead Crawford is turning his attentions to the club’s marquee friendly with Leyton Orient XI at Millfield on Saturday (3pm).

“Signings-wise, we are done and dusted I think,” he said. “We are still probably a bit light up front, but there isn’t really anyone we are looking at.

“The players we have brought in are good quality, so it’s just a case of trying to mould them together.”

Hadleigh head to local rivals Cornard United tonight (7.30pm) as a warm-up for their clash with npower League One outfit Leyton Orient on Saturday, with Crawford expecting the Londoners to bring an under-20 side featuring a mixture of academy and fringe first-team players.

United then host Leiston on Tuesday (7.45pm) in the Hadleigh Charity Cup – a match that finished 3-3 between the two teams last season.

“The talk is that the Orient game could become a regular fixture that takes place every year, which would be great for us,” added Hadleigh’s chief. “Hopefully there will be a good crowd down at the ground.”

Admission to the Orient match is £5 for families, £4 adults, £3 seniors and £2 under-16s.

Youngsters can also test their skills in the keepy-uppy competition, which starts at 2.15pm, registration 1.30pm.

Entry is £1 and participants need to provide their own ball. The finals of each age group will be held at half-time.

All proceeds will go to Help for Heroes.

Following their clash with Hadleigh tonight, Cornard are also scheduled to host FC Clacton on Tuesday (7.30pm).

Manager Chris Symes will keep faith with his young squad that lost 7-0 to AFC Sudbury, with 16-year-old left-back Josh Sheffield and 16-year-old striker Cameron Ward – who scored a hat-trick on his debut last season – set to feature again.

Meanwhile, Long Melford – who have confirmed Jules Mumford will return as the club’s assistant manager, to new boss Robbie Benson – host Clapton on Saturday (3pm), having lost 10-0 to Braintree Town on Saturday and 3-0 to FC Clacton last night.

Up-and-coming forward Jon Root has left Halstead Town to train with AFC Sudbury, but manager Jimmy Holder has left the door open to a return should things not work out.

Simon Newnes and Reece Keating have also exited, but left-back Marcus Warren and attacking threat James Murray have returned to Rosemary Lane, while last season’s top scorer Reis Farley-Hearn has remained.

Halstead boss Holder also hopes to unearth a gem from one of the club’s five under-18 teams they will be running next season.

“We are looking for the youngsters to step up,” said Holder. “You have to trust you are going to find someone from the volume of players we have.”

With Holder absent, new Halstead assistant coach Andrew Charles took charge of Town’s first pre-season game of the summer – a 3-0 loss to Clapton.

They host neighbours AFC Sudbury tomorrow (7.45pm) and West Bergholt on Tuesday (7.45pm).