Winning streak is extended as Brown rings the changes

ON TARGET: David Lorimer broke the deadlock at Wivenhoe, opening the scoring on the stroke of half-time
ON TARGET: David Lorimer broke the deadlock at Wivenhoe, opening the scoring on the stroke of half-time

Ian Brown made it three wins out of three since taking over the hot seat at Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division champions Hadleigh United.

The latest was a 2-0 victory at Wivenhoe Town on Saturday.

The team included three new players and new coach Steve Downey, who works as a coach/educator with both the Suffolk and Essex football associations.

Downey, who also worked at Colchester United’s centre of excellence and is a former Stanway Rovers manager, is described by Brown as ‘a fantastic addition to the club. All the players will benefit from his experience’.

Kelsey Trotter was one of the three new faces on show, although he has previously played for Hadleigh, and has recently returned to the club after taking a break from the game.

Jorrell Paton was at Ipswich Town as a youth player.

“We are giving him an opportunity to showcase his skills,” said Brown. “Once fully fit he will be a very good addition.”

Liam Barrett also has Ipswich Town connections and has previously played at Leiston. Most recently he has been playing in the United States.

Brown said the three new players have been signed to ‘augment the squad as we have had a few injuries recently’.

Brown, who previously had a spell as manager at Whitton and as coach at AFC Sudbury, is settling into his new role with the Brettsiders.

“I hadn’t thought of being a manager again,” he said. “It can be quite stressful. But you might always regret it if you turn the opportunity down.”

Retaining the Thurlow Nunn title Hadleigh won last season is unlikely as they sit 15 points adrift of leaders Norwich United, and have played three games more.

For Brown the aim between now and the end of the season is ‘to get the fun back in for the players, to win as many games as we can, and enjoy it’.

First Division leaders Long Melford’s fixture at home to Downham Town was called off at 2.30pm on Saturday.

Manager Jules Mumford said he was frustrated at the time ‘and I felt sorry for Downham, who had travelled all that way, but it was the right decision. It would have ruined our pitch’.

He added: “When we arrived at 1.30pm it was okay, but then the snow and sleet started, and one goalmouth got really heavy with puddles, so the referee had no option really.”

Melford instead had a short training session.

Saturday’s fixtures see Hadleigh at home to Brantham Athletic in the Premier Division.

In the First Division Long Melford are home to March Town United, Halstead Town host second-placed Saffron Walden Town, and Cornard United visit Team Bury.