First away trip for Rovers at the pleasant and friendly atmosphere of The Millfield. Wood was
brought in for his first start following his substitution against Newmarket.
The game started brightly for Rovers in the second minute when Holdstock’s excellent cross from the flank was followed up by Blackwell just failing to make the final touch. Encouraging start. Play
continued with Hadleigh making most of the early running although the threats posed by them came to nothing when in the box. After sixteen minutes a speculative shot by Barber just grazed the crossbar, following which Rovers came more into the game.
Thirty minutes into the game smart build-up play by the visitors led to the ever threatening Holdstock providing another cross for Blackwell to stab home from inside the five yard box. 1-0 up.
The remaining half was mostly controlled by Rovers with speculative efforts by Hadleigh were
comfortably dealt with by the defence.
Half Time – United 0 Rovers 1
The second half began brightly for both sides and early on Barber received a caution for bringing
down an opponent following a break by Hadleigh.
The second goal for the visitors came after 52 minutes when Wood jinked past the home defence to hit a cross shot home giving Punter no chance.
Rovers then let Hadleigh back in the game when Barber offended, the resultant penalty going in of
the post.This spurred on the home side and the game became scrappy with both sides unnecessarily bickering over trivial incidents. It came as no surprise when Hadleigh equalised after 80 minutes when Phillips scored from closerange when Rovers failed to clear their lines.
The home side, spurred on by now could have taken the lead when a glorious chance was spooned
over the bar from inside 5 yards, with Rovers hanging on. However Rovers responded well and
continued to press, and were rewarded when Grimes’ header gave the visitors all three points with a
looping header with four minutes to go.
The Referee had a difficult job keeping order of an entertaining match and generally had a good
game.
Rovers still have areas of improvement to make but two wins from two is most satisfying, given their
history of poor starts to the season.
Result – Hadleigh United 2 Stanway Rovers 3