‘New kids on the block’ Haverhill Borough looking to make their stamp in Thurlow Nunn
Haverhill Borough manager Ben Cowling is enjoying the step-up of Thurlow Nunn level football and is aspiring for even bigger things in the future.
Cowling has led his side into the Thurlow Nunn First Division following two successive promotions from the Essex and Suffolk Border League after the club formed in 2011.
And after a positive start to life at a higher level, it may not be too long before Borough meet their neighbours, Haverhill Rovers, who ply their trade in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.
The two clubs currently ground-share The New Croft and Cowling is looking forward to the potential rivalry in the future.
“We’ve never played Rovers as we’re a new club moving up the leagues but the opportunity to have some kind of rivalry is definitely there,” said Cowling.
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“We have a few players who have played a bit for Rovers before and everyone knows each other so they do have a bit of friendly banter but obviously it’s pretty low-key at the moment.”
Cowling’s men got off to a flying start in their new league surroundings, losing just once in their opening nine league games.
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But a run of four defeats in their last five, including a 3-2 defeat to Ipswich Wanderers on Saturday, has knocked a previously free-flowing Borough back down to earth of late as the Essex and Suffolk Border Premier Division 2012/13 Champions have now dropped into the mid-table positions.
“We’ve been found out a little bit in recent weeks,” Cowling admitted.
“We’re a fairly young group with only one player in the squad over 30 so we’re all on a learning curve as most of the lads haven’t played much at this level before.”
Despite this rocky patch, Cowling is only looking positively at the season ahead.
He said: “The formation of this club was to play in the Thurlow Nunn and we’ve adapted quicker than expected to be fair.
“We’re going for a top six finish this year. I think anything else is beyond us at the moment but we’re building to go on to next year.
“Step six is good for us at the moment but we have aims to push on but we also have to be realistic as well – we’re a two-year-old club competing against clubs 120 years older than us.”
A successful club new on the Thurlow Nunn scene for Borough to aspire to is Brightlingsea Regent, currently sitting in fourth position in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.
Much like Borough, Brightlingsea climbed up the Essex and Suffolk leagues before settling in the Thurlow Nunn First Division where they finished third last year to gain promotion into the Premier. Cowling will be hoping his side look at the progress of teams like Brightlingsea as they look to form history with an all Haverhill rivalry in the imminent future.
They face fourth-placed Great Yarmouth Town today looking to halt their recent slump of results and climb back up the league table.