Wardley has to work hard for first Hadleigh victory

PITCH RETURN: Hadleigh United manager Shane Wardley swapped the dugout for the pitch on Saturday, playing his first full game of football in about two years  but receiving the man of the match award
PITCH RETURN: Hadleigh United manager Shane Wardley swapped the dugout for the pitch on Saturday, playing his first full game of football in about two years  but receiving the man of the match award

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Ipswich Wanderers 0

Hadleigh Utd 2

Shane Wardley played his first full 90 minutes for two years as the Brettsiders picked up three valuable points with victory over crisis club Ipswich Wanderers.

Hadleigh manager Wardley had seven players injured or unavailable for the fixture, but only finally decided a couple of hours before kick-off to include himself in the team.

Kris Rose, who recently rejoined Hadleigh from Wanderers, was among the players unavailable on Saturday against his former club.

Rose played in the 2-1 defeat at Brantham Athletic on Tuesday night, but picked up a red card late in the game which will rule him out for three matches.

“I enjoyed playing on Saturday, but I certainly felt it on Sunday,” said Wardley, “but it’s not something I intend to do on a regular basis.

“If we have problems in future, then I will play if needed, but I want to concentrate on being the manager.

“Combining playing and managing is difficult. I want to stay on the sidelines.”

Wardley, nursing a heavy cold in midweek, ruled himself out of the league visit to Brantham on Tuesday night.

The victory at Wanderers was Wardley’s first since returning to The Millfield, where he enjoyed considerable success as a player.

Kyron Andrews put Hadleigh in front, slotting home after a penalty had been saved, with Ben Baldwin sealing victory shortly before the end of the game.

Wardley, who resigned as Wanderers manager earlier this season, has some sympathy for his old club, which has been forced into cost cutting, and saw manager Mark Benterman resign at the weekend.

“I have a lot of time for the people there, and I hope they can turn things round. But I’m Hadleigh now, and that’s what I’m concentrating on,” said Wardley.

Hadleigh’s supporters voted him man of the match for his display as the right side central defender in a back four.

“I used my head and gave myself five or ten yards start,” said Wardley. “I was surprised to play the whole game.”

After less than a month in his new post, Wardley is getting accustomed to the frustration of not being able to name the same line-up in consecutive games.

“But we have youngsters and reserve team players stepping up when needed, so I think we have a good player base on which to build.

“On Saturday, with a few young players in the team we stuck to our task, and we got a win, and that’s what matters.”

n New signing Dale Munson, who has rejoined the club from SIL club Bramford United, was on the bench at Brantham, but came on in the second half, and scored the late consolation goal for Hadleigh.

n Hadleigh are in league action tomorrow night when Haverhill Borough are the visitors to The Millfield (7.45pm).