History-makers chasing FA Vase shock hat-trick

HAVERHILL Sports Association are ready to complete a hat-trick of FA Vase shocks in the club’s biggest day in their short but record-breaking history on Saturday.

Formed in the summer of 2011 as a stand-alone club to Haverhill Rovers, the club were crowned Essex and Suffolk Border League Division One champions in an impressive debut season in May.

Ben Cowling’s charges claimed the league by 13 points, plundering 120 goals in 30 fixtures, and winning their last 20 games.

And on Saturday the side, who share New Croft with Haverhill Rovers, face arguably their biggest test yet with Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side Dereham Town in the FA Vase second round at home.`

But the hosts have already shocked Thurlow Nunn League outfits Norwich United (Premier Division) and Ipswich Wanderers (Division One) in 1-0 and 3-2 FA Vase wins respectively.

It is a record-breaking cup run, creating history by becoming the first team from the Essex and Suffolk Border League to compete in the FA Vase and becoming the first Haverhill side to reach the second round since 1993.

“It is the biggest day in the club’s short history and we’ll be looking to create more history,” said Peter Betts, who last week announced he is stepping down as Haverhill Rovers manager to focus on his role as facility operations manager and football development officer for Haverhill Community Sports Association.

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“We have exceeded expectations so far. We seem to be playing well as the underdogs.

“There are only two Step Seven sides left in the competition but it’s a home draw and anything can happen.

“There is excitement around the whole club and of course there is a chance of an upset, but it will be very tough.”

Haverhill Sports Association, who remain unbeaten in the Essex and Suffolk Border League Premier Division, sitting in fourth place, are eager to promote their own identity.

“We want to be known as a stand-alone club from Haverhill Rovers. We’re not a feeder club to them,” added Betts.

“We were set-up to get more players from the community playing a higher level quality of football.

“Outside of the first team there is very little for other players to choose from.

“We’re not really surprised it has worked. People forget Haverhill is an area with really good footballers.”

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