Testing times in Hadleigh hot seat

TESTING TIMES: Shane Wardley
TESTING TIMES: Shane Wardley

His first six weeks in the hot seat at Hadleigh United have proved something of a torrid time for Shane Wardley.

The manager, suspended after being sent off eight days earlier, had to watch from the stands as his team were beaten 9-0 at Thetford Town on Saturday.

The Brettsiders were then defeated 3-1 at Coggeshall Town on Tuesday, Ash Veitch putting them in front after four minutes,leaving Hadleigh fifth from bottom in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

Wardley said of Saturday’s result: “It was hard to take from a team just two places above us. It was a result I wasn’t expecting. I thought we could give Thetford a game.

“I told the players what I thought about it, and told them to go away and think about their performances.

“It’s a question of confidence, and the younger players have to learn from the experience. I have spoken to a few of them individually.

“We had a goal disallowed when it was 2-0, and hit the post in the first half.

“But all credit to Thetford. Their front four were very good, and they punished us.”

Thetford, 3-0 up at half-time, added four goals in nine minutes early in the second half.

“With injuries and suspensions we fielded a very young side. But we have to cope with it,” added the former AFC Sudbury player.

“We just have to get through the next two or three weeks and then we will have injured and suspended players back and I will have a bigger squad to pick from.”

On Tuesday Wardley said there had been much improvement in workrate.

He said: “We had a great start, and held them until half-time. A disputed penalty early in the second half was a sucker punch for the lads.

“I was frustrated that we gave possession away too much. We need to work on it in training. They need to pick a pass rather than just kick it clear.”

Hadleigh’s away record is poor — one win and 11 defeats — scoring seven goals and conceding 27.

Wardley had his players in for training last night. “Just a light session. I wanted to put the smiles back on their faces after a tough time,” he said.

Hadleigh are home to fifth-placed Ely City on Saturday (3pm).

n Records indicate the biggest victory in the Eastern Counties League, formed 1935, came in March 1937 when Lowestoft Town beat Thetford Town 19-0.