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Hadleigh United playing with 'real confidence' after back-to-back wins says manager Christian Appleford


By Sport Sudbury


Christian Appleford says Hadleigh United are playing with ‘real confidence’ after snapping a three-match losing run in the last week, writes Alex Moss.

The Brettsiders followed up an impressive 2-1 win at home to Woodbridge Town, last season’s Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division runners-up, on Friday with a victory over higher-league AFC Sudbury in the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday night.

And ahead of a trip to Leighton Town in the first round of the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday (3pm), Hadleigh boss Appleford insists he fancies their chances if they can replicate the performances from the last two games.

Goalkeeper Nick Punter saved three AFC Sudbury penalties in Tuesday night’s shootout	Picture: Mecha Morton
Goalkeeper Nick Punter saved three AFC Sudbury penalties in Tuesday night’s shootout Picture: Mecha Morton

“We’ve had two very tough games against two good teams, and we’ve put in two really good performances to get results in both of them,” Appleford said.

“We’re playing with real confidence at the moment. We’ve done our research (on Leighton) and you can see all the information that’s available to you, but it’s down to us to perform.

“If we go and put in a performance like the last two games, I’m confident we can go and get a result.”

Defeats to FC Clacton, Long Melford and Newmarket Town in recent weeks had seen Hadleigh slip to 18th, two places and two points off the bottom of the Premier Division.

There was a large crowd at the Millfield on Friday for United’ s clash with Suffolk rivals Woodbridge, and the home side handed debuts to Cruise Nyadzayo and Emmanuel Machaya, two forwards who have arrived on a dual-registration from Appleford’s former club Bury Town.

After Joel Glover fired wide from the penalty spot, Nyadzayo headed home on his debut and Liam Scopes put the ball in his own net as Hadleigh went 2-0 up midway through the second half. Carlos Edwards’ 82nd minute penalty proved to be a consolation.

Tuesday’s derby at Sudbury saw Glover turn from villain to hero, as he came off the bench to level at 2-2 and take the second-round tie to penalties.

Matt Paine scored the winning penalty to send Hadleigh into the quarter-finals.


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