Thurlow Nunn Preview: Hadleigh United look to get back on track at top

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Hadleigh United manager Stuart Crawford has labelled Saturday’s trip to Gorleston (3.07pm) as a game which is 
‘crucial not to lose’.

The Brettsiders visit Emerald Park this weekend without a win in their last four matches, which has seen their lead at the top of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division cut to just three points.

“It’s the first-time it has happened all season,” said Crawford. “We haven’t been at our best, but when we have played well we’ve had no luck.

“Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for us in the last few weeks.”

Kris Rose’s 87th-minute goal ended Hadleigh’s three-match losing run on Saturday when they drew 2-2 at Norwich United.

A point which could end up being pivotal come the end of the season on May 3.

“It’s tight at the top,” said the United boss. “It was good to get the monkey off our backs on Saturday and get a point, which I think we deserved.

“We played the last 25 minutes with effectively 10 men.

“Richard Logan picked up an injury and we’d already made our three subs.”

The Brettsiders visit fellow title-chasers Gorleston (fourth), whose nine-match unbeaten run ended at the hands of Walsham-le-Willows last Saturday.

“It will be a tough game,” added Crawford. “Hopefully we can get the right result.

“It’s crucial that we don’t lose so that they, and the teams below, don’t gain anything on us.”

In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division, promotion-chasing Halstead Town (third) face a tough trip to Great Yarmouth Town on Saturday (3pm).

Mark Benterman’s side have lost just twice in their last 12 matches, which has seen them strongly positioned in the promotion places.

“We’ve got four cup finals away from home to try and achieve promotion,” said Benterman. “I’m confident in my team as our away form has been spot on this year.”

The Humbugs have lost just once away from their Rosemary Lane home in the league this season.

Long Melford (12th) will hope to continue their impressive upturn in form when they travel to Needham Market Reserves on Saturday(3pm).

The Villagers have won four of their last five matches, including a 3-2 home win over their weekend opponents three weeks ago.

Cornard United (19th) begin the first of a three-game road trip when they visit March Town United on Saturday (3.07pm).

The Ards travel to Saffron Walden Town on Tuesday (7.45pm) as they look to end a losing run of seven matches, which has kept them rooted at the bottom of the table.