HALSTEAD Town host Long Melford in an enticing local derby on Tuesday night (7.45pm) and go into the weekend off what manager Jimmy Holder has described as the best 45 minutes of football in his nine months in the dugout.
Ridgeons League Premier Division side Wivenhoe Town led their First Division opposition 2-1 at half-time in Saturday’s FA Vase tie, but four second-half goals from Halstead saw them comfortably set up a home tie with Newmarket Town a week Saturday.
Holder, whose fourth-placed side face league leaders Whitton United at Rosemary Lane on Saturday (3pm), said: “We showed our character and to score four times in a half is always extra special.
“Without a doubt the second half was the best we have played as a team in my nine months.”
Reis Farley-Hearn, who has six goals in four league games, is a doubt for Whitton’s visit with a foot injury picked up playing for the reserves.
Long Melford were in action at home to Brightlingsea Regent last night (see Free Press website for result) and host third-placed Godmanchester Rovers at Stoneylands on Saturday (7.45pm) ahead of the Halstead derby.
Manager Jason Maher praised his side for insisting on an extra training session on Monday night following the 2-0 FA Vase exit at Thetford Town, where he thought they were the better side and was adamant they should have had a penalty for a trip on Dan Cann which could have changed the game.
But Maher has said new signing Callum Harrison looks to have played his last game for the club having turned out for Haverhill Sports Asscoiation instead of turning up for their FA Cup game at Wroxham.
He said: “He wants a guaranteed assurance he will play every week and we are not prepared to give that,” he said, also saying he is close to signing another player.
Cornard United lost 3-0 at home to Team Bury on Tuesday, following a 1-1 draw at Ipswich Wanderers Saturday and acting-manager Shaun Gascoyne is demanding a reaction when they host Cambridge Univeristy Press at Blackhouse Lane on Saturday (3pm).
“They could have been three up in the first five minutes and we never really switched on,” he said of Tuesday night. “They have to give more than that on Saturday.”
Hadleigh United manager Stuart Crawford has seen his squad decimated by injury already this season and now has Ollie Canfer (hamstring) back in the treatment room again. As if having eight first team players out wasn’t enough, he must also make do without summer signing Darren Mills, with the striker having been posted to Cardiff with the Army.
Hadleigh suffered humiliation at the hands of previously winless First Division side Stowmarket Town in the FA Vase on Saturday following on from their best result of the season, a 6-1 thrashing of Woodbridge Town.
But Crawford has signed Ollie Canfer’s brother, 28-year-old defender or midfielder Rob Canfer, who is only available until Christmas when he goes travelling, and he will go straight in the sides to face Norwich United on Saturday (3pm) and Wivenhoe Town on Tuesday (7.45pm), both at Millfield.
Crawford said of his new signing: “He is someone who can give us a bit of steel and that is what we need.”