Haverhill gripped by cup fever

IT has the makings of a football fairytale as a Suffolk side looks to spring a major FA Cup upset today.Haverhill Rovers have already gone further than they dared dream in the competition this season and now face non-league giants Aldershot in the fourth qualifying round.

IT has the makings of a football fairytale as a Suffolk side looks to spring a major FA Cup upset today.

Haverhill Rovers have already gone further than they dared dream in the competition this season and now face non-league giants Aldershot in the fourth qualifying round.

Rovers, who are in the Ridgeons League First Division, will secure a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup if they can overcome a Conference side four levels above them in the football pyramid.

The David and Goliath clash has raised the excitement levels to fever pitch in the west Suffolk town.


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Last night, club chairman Steve Brown was busy fitting out Rovers home ground - Hamlet Croft - with extra toilets access ramps and fencing to cope with the bumper crowd.

“We've sold 1,200 tickets in total and we have enjoyed great support for the past four rounds of the cup as well,” he said.

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“If we win we will make a lot of money - as it is, it is already a huge milestone for the club. This match marks a new era for the club and with the move to a new stadium soon I think we have a bright future ahead of us.”

An extra 200 tickets were released yesterday afternoon - and were gobbled up in minutes.

Mayor Anne Thomas said she bought her ticket last Saturday, despite an accident in which she broke her foot.

“There is no way I was going to let my foot stop me from going. This is the most exciting event in Haverhill in my time as mayor.

“There is real buzz about this match and everyone is talking about it - I wouldn't miss it for the world.”

Arts Centre manager Nick Keeble said he was thrilled to help the club sell the tickets which were bringing supporters from outside the town in to visit.

“This is a real boost for the town and it is bringing people from elsewhere in to see the arts centre and people from within the town who have never been in here before.

“It is great for the community - if you go into newsagents everyone is reading the same Rovers articles. I think if they win it would be incredible.”

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