Haverhill Rovers 1-2 Town XI
Wednesday, 13th Jul 2011 21:17
A very young and inexperienced Town reserve side beat Haverhill Rovers 2-1 at the New Croft on Wednesday evening. With U18s coach Russell Osman in charge following Chris Kiwomya’s departure at the end of last season, two first half goals from Caolan Lavery put Town in charge before Joe Harvey pulled one back for the hosts just prior to the break.
Town’s only players with first team experience were Ronan Murray and Shane O’Connor, who captained the side from central midfield.
And it was Murray who created Town’s first real opening on 15 when he fed Tommy Winter, but the new first-year scholar toe-poked his effort at keeper Liam Curtis.
Town’s keeper Cody Cropper then did well to prevent Dalton O’Brien from putting the home side ahead when he came out to save at his feet, the Haverhill man having found himself one-on-one with the American U20 international following a mistake from Elliot Scotcher playing in a fairly unfamiliar centre-back role.
However, Lavery put Town ahead on 26 when he latched on to a long ball from Joe Whight and after just beating Curtis to the ball, the Northern Irish frontman tucked the ball into the empty net.
Two minutes later and Lavery doubled Town’s advantage after Murray’s pace took him past the home defence, and a clever pull-back left Lavery with an open net from three yards out.
Town were well on top and Murray hit a post after cutting in from the left; the rebound just evading Winter and being cleared to safety.
Haverhill created a good chance soon after when Louis Harper’s cross from the right was headed towards goal by Jack Wilkinson at the back post, Cropper having to save smartly at his near post.
The hosts did pull a goal back a minute later when Callum Bennett was dispossessed and Joe Harvey reached the loose ball ahead of Jide Maduako to neatly slot past Cropper.
A whole host of substitutions took place for both sides at the interval with Town introducing a number of new first-year scholars, including recent Icelandic recruit Gunnar Thorsteinsson, who impressed in yesterday’s U18 friendly against Leyton Orient.
Town’s first opportunity of the second half came on the hour when a chipped ball from Jon Leddy was headed just over by Jack Marriott, who had met the high ball before sub keeper Luke Howard.
O’Brien then sent in a teasing cross from the right which Aaron Jones, on at right-back, did well to prevent reaching Greg Strong at the back post.
Town’s sub keeper Conor O’Donnell then made a good save down low to stop a fierce shot from Harry Halls, before O’Donnell again thwarted the hosts, this time pushing Matt Clarke’s left-foot effort just over the bar.
The last action of the game saw Shane O’Connor’s left-foot drive fly just wide, but Town’s youngsters did enough to deserve the win.
Murray and Lavery had looked lively up front whilst O’Connor was quiet but effective, getting through a lot of work in the middle of midfield. Joe Whight had another solid game, playing the first half at left midfield and the second at left-back.
Town XI: Cropper (O’Donnell 46), Bennett (Jones 46), October (Leddy 46), Scotcher, Maduako (Thorsteinsson 46), O’Connor, Winter (Simmons 46), Burke (Acott 46), Lavery (Marriott 46), Murray (Tiofack 69) and Whight.
Report: James Ager
Photo: Action Images
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