Jay cautious over Hadleigh's chances

HADLEIGH United manager Steve Jay is understandably cautious about his team's prospects of gaining promotion to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League this season.

Elvin King

HADLEIGH United manager Steve Jay is understandably cautious about his team's prospects of gaining promotion to the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League this season.

His team entertain Godmanchester in the First Division at Millfield tomorrow, having notched four points in their last two games, and looking to take another step towards the goal the club set themselves at the beginning of the campaign.

Last season Hadleigh needed to draw their final game, but failed to do so and were pipped for the third promotion place by Whitton United.


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Jay still feels the pain associated with that disappointment - and he is not looking further ahead than his next game.

“Until last Saturday we had hit a bad patch at a worrying time,” said Jay. “But we are in a good position and will try and keep going.

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“Godmanchester are a big side and it will not be easy, but three points would be nice.

“Newmarket look as though they have one foot in the Premier Division, with ourselves, Clacton and Halstead in contention for the two bridesmaid places. But you cannot discount Great Yarmouth and Debenham Leisure Centre making a late run.

“I don't want to see a repeat of last season's heartbreak, and we are looking to fulfil our dreams and then review the situation with next season in mind.

“We are a bit jittery and three points tomorrow would settle us down.”

Jay expects to have Chris Dennett and Daniel Oakes back in contention after missing Tuesday's draw against Cornard, and skipper Robbie Knott had ten minutes against Chris Symes' side and will also be considered.

Asked to pick out a player who has done well this campaign, Jay had no hesitation in naming central defender Chris Lay.

“All the lads have done well, but Chris has been a diamond, superb, while Stuart Crawford has shone recently,” said Jay.

“And Chris has been standing in as captain while Robbie has been out.”

With a new clubhouse to be opened soon, Hadleigh are in a position to improve their revenue situation with Jay saying: “We have great facilities and a great pitch with our committee working their socks off.

“Now we want to match that on the field, and with the secretary taking plenty of outside bookings the extra income will be very welcome.”

Mel Aldis' Debenham are at home to Ipswich Wanderers while Brantham entertain Diss Town and Stowmarket Town travel to March.

In the top division, Leiston can close the gap on leaders Lowestoft with a win at Harwich, while Needham Market are at Histon and Felixstowe and Walton United at Ely. Woodbridge Town entertain Mildenhall Town.

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