Back to business for Haverhill Borough after fantastic FA Cup adventure ends at Leiston

Haverhill Borough's Ryan Weaver (blue) had a golden opportunity for Ben Cowling's men against Leisto

Haverhill Borough's Ryan Weaver (blue) had a golden opportunity for Ben Cowling's men against Leiston - Credit: Archant

Following their more-than-respectable 2-0 defeat to Ryman Premier Division side Leiston in the FA Cup on Saturday, it’s very much a case of back to business for Ben Cowling’s Haverhill Borough now.

Borough, of the Thurlow Nunn First Division, and boss Cowling went into Saturday’s ‘David v Goliath’ tie against a side three steps above them in the non-league pyramid but showed no fear with a brave display which won them many admirers.

Tom Winter and Scott Mitchell scored the goals that ultimately ended Borough’s fantastic run - but the Haverhill boss is immensely proud of his players’ efforts.

“I’m really proud,” declared Cowling.

“It was a fantastic day as a whole for the club.

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“The whole FA Cup run has attracted a few new sponsors for us and raised awareness of the club so I’m more than happy.”

A recorded gate of 158 watched Haverhill give a good account of themselves against Leiston, with Cowling actually feeling a little disappointed at the eventual outcome.

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“I’m obviously pleased with our efforts, but actually slightly disappointed that we got nothing out of the game,” admitted the Borough boss.

“Going into the game we were thinking that we might come unstuck and that it was a bridge too far.

“I’ll accept that Leiston had 70-30 or 65-35 percent possession, but we defended very well and had a couple of sights of goal.

“At the start of the second half we gave it a really good go and had two very good opportunities but couldn’t take them.

“They then scored what was a superb free-kick with 20 to go and we tried to gamble and go for it further but were a little tired.”

Following Saturday’s adventure, Borough travelled to second-bottom Sudbury reserves in league action on Tuesday evening - where a much-improved second-half performance saw them claim a 2-1 victory.

“It was important to get three points,” admitted Cowling.

“Especially after Saturday, it’s difficult to come back into that after the FA Cup - and to be honest we should have been dead and buried at half-time.

“Although they’re second bottom, Sudbury have some great players under Danny Laws, and we let them play in the first half.

“Fortunately, we upped our game and work rate in the second, and deserved the win eventually in my opinion.”

One player that found himself on the score-sheet last night as well as contributing to the FA Cup success was young Luke Latham - a player Borough snapped up from a side seven leagues below them!

Success in the league is what Borough need now - especially as they have played just four league games so far, mainly due to their success in the FA Cup and Vase!

“We need to get on a roll in the league now,” admitted Cowling, whose side came perilously close to finishing in the top three last season.

“The FA Cup was brilliant but that’s gone and we’ve got to get on with it now.

“We want to be there or thereabouts this season that’s for sure.”

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