Rejuvenated Haughley eye cup upset
HAUGHLEY United have come back from the dead, and have a chance to prove this against Leiston St Margarets in their delayed Omnico Cup fourth round game tomorrow (kick-off 1.
HAUGHLEY United have come back from the dead, and have a chance to prove this against Leiston St Margarets in their delayed Omnico Cup fourth round game tomorrow (kick-off 1.30pm).
Last season Haughley saw two managers depart early on and then a succession of players and ended up winning just one game and gaining just three points from their 30 Senior Division Metaltec SIL fixtures.
Adam Riggey took over as manager in November 2007, and after a slow start to life in Division One his team has won their last six games including victories over two highly-placed league sides.
“There were times last season when we were hanging on for dear life,” said secretary Lee Forsdyke.
“We decided to disband our second team and concentrate on keeping the first team going even though they were being outclassed.
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“The plan is now to consolidate and then push forward.”
With the SIL not taking any new clubs at their annual general meeting last summer, Haughley entered their reserves into the Second Division of the Bury League, and they have a 100 per cent record having won all ten league matches.
So things are looking up with second team manager Bob Frost responsible for bringing in youngsters who have now made their way into the first team.
Riggey is assisted by Colin Waggott, and Forsdyke says that the atmosphere at the club is now excellent.
“We were not close to folding as we felt it was vital to keep the Haughley name going through the difficult times.
“But it was not easy and over the last 12 months we have come a long way. We realise we still have work to do and it may well be a slow process.”
Haughley have twice won the SIL title and they will have their sights set on getting back their Senior Division place now that they have weathered the storm.
“Facing a good senior club in Leiston St Margarets will give us a measure of where we stand,” added Forsdyke.
“A victory would keep the good run going and keep interest alive. We are looking forward to it.”
Alan Middle's Achilles face fellow Ipswich side Coplestonians also looking to provide some giant killing in another Omnico delayed game - caused this time by Achilles reaching the semi-final of the Suffolk Junior Cup.
In the league, first meets second with Grundisburgh playing Melton St Audry's and Crane Sports will be looking to make up ground in their match.
Needham Market have a full squad to select from for their FA Vase replay at Squire's Gate against AFC Fylde.
The game against last season's winners, who were then known as Kirkham and Wesham, has been switched because of the muddy state of the Fylde ground on the Lancashire coast.
Squire's Gate, situated on the end of the Blackpool tram line, is in tip-top condition and Fylde may feel they have a better chance on a good surface than in the heavy conditions that were the order of the day in the 0-0 draw at Bloomfields last Saturday.
Danny Laws' Needham cannot be written off by any means having gone 2-0 ahead in last season's Vase semi-final first leg at Kirkham.
They eventually lost on aggregate and will relish another chance to gain revenge.