RIDGEONS: New Strikeforce will give Hadleigh a boost

HADLEIGH United manager Stuart Crawford is hoping two seasoned strikers can fire his side up the table.

The Brettsiders pulled off the signings of sharpshooters Stuart Jopling, who was with Debenham LC last season, and Sam Banya, from Ipswich Wanderers, last week.

Jopling, who is still gaining match fitness after not doing a pre-season, played 45 minutes in Hadleigh’s 4-1 defeat at Wisbech Town on Saturday, while ex-AFC Sudbury frontman Banya, played 80 minutes in last Wednesday’s 7-3 League Challenge Cup preliminary round win over Ipswich Wanderers, which saw Ben Deacon bag four goals.

Saturday’s league result left Hadleigh languishing in the bottom third of the Ridgeons League Premier Division, but Crawford believes the introduction of Banya, 36, and Jopling, 37, will be key to turning their fortunes around.

“Both of those two are winners,” he said. “They both still have the hunger. Jopling played 45 minutes Saturday and played the same as when I played with him at Needham and I am confident they will do well.”

Crawford, whose side host newly-promoted Diss Town on Saturday (3pm) before getting their Suffolk Premier Cup campaign under way at Leiston on Tuesday (7.45pm), has had a mountain of injury problems, which forced him to name himself on the bench against Wisbech.

But of the 10 first-team players out, Ollie Canfer could make a return on Saturday while Remi Garrett, Jon Ince and Banya are all available.

Shaun French has also signed from Debenham LC but keeper Louis Johnson has transferred to Ryman League outfit Leiston with Crawford bringing 21-year-old Daniel Heath in, previously with Cambridge United and Histon.

Cornard United acting manager Shaun Gascoyne was seething with his side’s defending in their 7-1 home defeat to Godmanchester Rovers, their fourth straight defeat.

“We played three at the back and we needed 23,” he said.

Neil Golsworthy, a defender from Wormingford has joined the club, along with striker Scott Yearling (FC Clacton), and defender Alistair Mcinness (Clacton United).

Cornard travel to Capel Plough in the Suffolk Senior Cup first round on Saturday (2.30pm) before hosting high-flyers Whitton United on Tuesday in the league (7.45pm).

Halstead Town kept up their impressive start with a 3-0 win at Swaffham Town on Saturday but were knocked out of the Essex Senior Cup by Hullbridge on Tuesday, losing 2-1.

Despite taking a seocnd minute lead through Jordan Palmer, they failed to overcome a sprightly Hullbridge who struck twice in the last five minutes to seal the victory at Rosemary.

Halstead return to league action at Godmanchester Rovers on Saturday.

Long Melford suffered a 3-2 defeat at Downham Town on Saturday to make it five defeats in their last six league games.

The Villagers will be hoping to turn around their fortunes when they have a local derby at Sudbury Athletic in the Suffolk Senior Cup first round on Saturday.