THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Haverhill Rovers 2
Hadleigh United 0
Despite slipping to another loss at Haverhill Rovers on Friday night, Danny Smy believes there is enough quality in the Hadleigh United dressing room to successfully fight off the threat of relegation.
The defeat – Hadleigh’s 10th in their last 13 outings — has left them occupying what is thought to be the fourth and final relegation place, three points adrift of Rovers’ neighbours Haverhill Borough.
However, irrespective of their current precarious position, veteran frontman Smy is adamant Shane Wardley’s men have what it takes to keep their heads above water.
“I know Shane from our time playing together at Leiston and he explained he wanted me to come in and offer that little bit of experience,” said Smy, who joined the Brettsiders in late January following stints with the likes of Felixstowe & Walton United and Needham Market.
“There is a good set of lads here, they just need pushing in the right direction sometimes.
“It comes down to communication a lot of the time and if we can get them talking you can see there is enough quality in the squad.
“We definitely have enough quality to get ourselves out of trouble. It comes down to belief and confidence.
“We need people that will dig in — sometimes a simple tackle gees everyone up.
“When you see someone working hard in front of you it is a catalyst for the rest of the players, so that is what I try to do.”
While Rovers were worthy victors on a bitterly cold evening at The New Croft, they could quite easily have found themselves a goal or two behind early on.
Just two minutes had been played when Ben Reegan was sent scampering clear, only for Rovers goalkeeper Evan Jeckells to make a brave stop.
And then Smy did manage to beat an advancing Jeckells in the 18th minute with a lofted effort.
However, with many of the away players ready to celebrate the deadlock being broken, the ball drifted just wide of the post.
After that Rovers started to move through the gears and they got their noses in front with 27 minutes on the clock.
It was all about former AFC Sudbury man Carroll, who jinked his way forward from right-back before curling a left-footed shot into the far corner of Nick Punter’s net from the edge of the box.
Punter was powerless to prevent that goal, but he had a moment to forget 120 seconds after the restart.
It appeared to all intents and purposes that the visiting custodian had a routine high ball to collect, yet he inexplicably spilled it between his legs.
Rovers’ Sam Holmes may well have been in an offside position, but he was aware enough to leave it for Rafa Wozniak to apply the finishing touch from close-range and wrap up the victory.
Hadleigh: Punter, Ferguson, Ross, Barwick, Rose, Golding, Ballard (Benee 60), Driscoll, Smy, Andrews, Regan (Crisp 73)
Free Press Man of the Match: Kyron Anderews
• Hadleigh, whose scheduled home clash against Saffron Walden Town on Tuesday was postponed due to a frozen pitch, are without a game this weekend.