Hadleigh United looking to end season with a flourish

Shane Wardley, who is staying with Hadleigh United next season

Shane Wardley, who is staying with Hadleigh United next season

HADLEIGH United manager Stuart Crawford is looking for a final flourish as he plans for next season.

The Brettsiders have shaken off their FA Vase quarter-final exit hangover which saw them lose five and draw one of their following six league games.

Hadleigh have now won their last three matches in a row, following Tuesday’s 2-1 win at home to Diss Town, and are on course for their best-ever finish in the Premier Division.

Crawford is starting to plan for next season, with experienced duo Darren Moyes and Shane Wardley having signed already and others expected to follow suit shortly.

“We want to get people committed to the club for next season. We want it done and dusted so we know where we are,” said Crawford.

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“More players should be signing this weekend and by the end of the month I would expect to have 14 players signed on for next season.

“We are not looking to add too many to the squad, but we do need some more offensive players.

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“We have been great defensively this season, but if you look at the table you will see we have not scored enough goals.

“Lee McGlone has been unavailable at times – the game against Diss was his first game since we lost in the Vase to Tunbridge Wells – and James Blades has suffered injuries.

“Neil Calver has been unavailable for six weeks due to family commitments following the birth of his baby.

“In the last two or three weeks we have struggled with injuries to big players – every manager can give that excuse – but it does cause you problems when you are having to change the team week after week.”

Crawford said that the Vase exit to Tunbridge Wells had been a bitter pill to swallow.

“The Vase was a big blow we went out to a team we felt we were better than, but we didn’t turn up on the day,” he explained.

“We are still hurting because they have now reached Wembley and we are better than them.

“I think everyone was believing we would do it, but it was a really frustrating day for us.

“When we lost at home to Walsham-le-Willows the following week we lost any realistic chance of winning the title.

“You can either fall apart or show your spirit and since then the players have really worked hard for each other.”

Seventh-placed Hadleigh tomorrow travel to Kirkley & Pakefield, who sit tenth in the table, and Crawford said: “We want to win every game between now and the end of the season.

“There are 15 points to play for and we want to get 15 points. If we do we will achieve our best finish and – with the FA Vase run – that will be the best season the club has ever had.”

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