Shane Wardley wants to see his Hadleigh United players use Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Thetford Town as the springboard to ensure they climb clear of the threat of relegation, writes Russell Claydon.
The Brettsiders had only won once in 18 games heading into their midweek home game, having lost 2-1 at Godmanchester Rovers on Saturday, to leave them still six points from guaranteed safety in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.
But with Haverhill Borough — whose future in the league may still be taken out of their hands due to their ground grading situation — not playing on Tuesday, Hadleigh are now three points behind them, and are due to travel to their The New Croft 3G base on Wednesday (7.45pm).
“It was a massive win for the boys,” said Wardley, after Danny Smy scored two in the first half on Tuesday before Hadleigh’s Nick Punter saved a penalty just after the restart and Elliott Ballard went on to seal the result.
“In the first half we did well and we knew they would come at us second half and we rode our luck at times, but we got the crucial third goal.”
With 17th-placed Walsham-le-Willows, who are 18 points better off than themselves, despite only being four places higher in the table, visiting on Saturday (3pm) before the trip to Haverhill in midweek, Wardley hopes they have turned a corner with their last result.
“Last night was a big win and hopefully the boys grew in confidence for Saturday,” he said.
“Hopefully we will get a result and they know the Wednesday night one is the crucial one; we need a win at their place 100 per cent.
“I keep saying to them that every game is a cup final now and we have to dig in and get the points on the board.”
• Meanwhile, the Thurlow Nunn League have received clearance from the FA to extend the season for a further week across both divisions to allow clubs to fufil a backlog of fixtures created by the prolonged wet weather.
The cut-off date for completing fixtures will now be Saturday, May 12.
Hadleigh are not among those clubs requesting to use the extra week.