Steve Holder not getting carried after Hadleigh United move off the bottom ahead of trip to Whitton United
Steve Holder is hopeful Hadleigh United have turned a corner with their win at Walsham-le-Willows – but no-one will be allowed to get ahead of themselves in the thick of the relegation fight.
A 3-1 success at Summer Road on Saturday lifted the Brettsiders off the bottom and out of the one potential relegation spot in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division for the first time since November 11.
It was a first win in seven for Christian Appleford’s side but they had to show character to come from behind after Craig Jennings put the Willows in front in the seventh minute.
They were only behind less than two minutes though as Joel Glover took advantage of a mix-up at the back to finish before Jack Yaxley turned in from a pinpoint cross from Mason Ransome to make it 2-1 in the 24th minute.
Things got even better for the visitors as 10 minutes later a third arrived as Ransome, who had set up the first two, converted Glover’s cross.
It was a scoreline they were able to maintain in the second period to leapfrog Gorleston, who lost 4-0 at Stanway Rovers.
It was also the first taste of victory for veteran striker Holder since he was brought in as a player assistant to manager Appleford.
“We are off the bottom now but we are not getting carried away as we were obviously there for a reason, namely we have not been good enough in games,” said Holder, who came to Hadleigh after leaving relegation rivals Ely City.
“Hopefully Saturday has seen us turn a corner and we can push on and get the points we need.
“The next three games (Whitton away, Kirkley & Pakefield home and Ely away) are vital for us to pick some points up.
“We have still got to play Gorleston and they are playing Ely next weekend, so it is in our hands still.”
Basement side Gorleston are two points behind Hadleigh with two games in hand but the Brettsiders are themselves just two adrift of Ely with two games in hand.
Of Saturday’s result, which took place without Matt Payne or Josh Cheetham who were both ill, while striker Matt Hayden returned to the starting line-up in place of Holder, he said: “It was a bit of relief all round for everyone, but I think it was a matter of time.
“Last week against Long Melford was not good enough from everyone but against Mildenhall a few weeks ago we played well and should have got something.
“Against Thetford the week after we picked up a good point away and although we weren’t great in the first half we put in a really good second half.”
Holder felt having a lead to take into half-time at Walsham was key to their victory, though he was also impressed by how they managed the game thereafter.
“We changed it about with a couple of players coming in and it worked,” he said. “Everything we did came off.
“Going forward we looked pretty good and at the back we looked pretty solid.
“To get a lead going into half-time was a bit different and gave us something to hold on to.”
Ahead of travelling to mid-table Whitton United on Saturday (3pm) he said: “Christian and myself have set ourselves mini targets of points from runs of games and we are on course to achieve that in this run.”
More by this authorRussell Claydon