Hadleigh United boss Stuart Crawford hoping his side can get back on a winning formula

Hadleigh United's George Clarke in his young Ipswich Town days

Hadleigh United's George Clarke in his young Ipswich Town days

Hadleigh United boss Stuart Crawford is determined for his side to get back on the winning formula in today’s home encounter against Stanway Rovers after accumulating only three points from their last five Thurlow Nunn Premier Division league games.

After a blistering start to the campaign, which saw the Brettsiders sit pretty at the top of the table for a spell, their form has dipped in the last month as their results testify.

In their last seven games in all competitions, Hadleigh have won just once, a League Cup tie against Braintree Town Reserves – drawing three times, and losing three times.

Crawford is bemused at his side’s recent results as he explains.

“I don’t really know what it is,” confessed the boss.

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“We’ve been gifting teams silly goals. They’re not good goals, they’re silly goals.

“If you look at our results, we’ve been conceding three goals a game.

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“We haven’t been playing badly, but we just can’t allow for this silly goals as we don’t have the firepower we did last season upfront to completely outscore teams.”

Cousins Josh Mayhew and Ollie Canfer were Hadleigh’s main goalscorers last season, but both have moved on to pastures new this campaign.

New striker David Lorimer has scored 11 times for the Brettsiders so far, and Crawford is pleased with his new signing – as well as being excited about the prospect of fellow new addition and former Ipswich Town youngster George Clarke, who has joined from Needham Market.

“George reminds me of Ollie Canfer a little bit,” added the boss.

“He’s only 18 so he has a lot to learn, but he looks an exciting player for us.”

Experienced midfielder Luke Hammond has also joined forces at the Millfield recently – but is sidelined with a nasty knee injury.

Tes Bramble has also returned from retirement, while Richard Logan and Neil Calver have both been allowed to move on as Crawford’s squad, which was revamped heavily in the summer, continues to be tinkered with.

The Brettsiders host in-form Stanway today in league action, before welcoming the same club four days later in League Cup action.

Crawford thinks his side are in for a tough test against a side who have climbed up to sixth, have progressed into the Second Round Proper of the FA Vase, and have attracted Colchester United legend Karl Duguid into their playing ranks.

“Stanway are obviously showing a bit of ambition and it’ll be a difficult game,” added Crawford.

“They’ve got some good players on paper and we’ve got a few out which is frustrating, but we’re always confident we can win every game we go into.”

Following an injury to first-choice stopper Ben Nower, 19-year-old goalkeeper Max Planck has deputised of late, and has drawn praise from his manager.

“I’ve been really impressed with Max,” declared Crawford.

“He’s only young but he’s done really well. He’s confident, talks loudly, and is impressing.”

Planck will look to keep up his good form this afternoon.

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