Controversy as Planters lose

Haverhill Rovers 1, Norwich United 0: A 65th-minute header from Marcus Hunt gave Haverhill their first home league win of the season in a lacklustre game at Hamlet Croft.

Haverhill Rovers 1, Norwich United 0

A 65th-minute header from Marcus Hunt gave Haverhill their first home league win of the season in a lacklustre game at Hamlet Croft.

The Planters who were missing several players created few chances but felt aggrieved in stoppage time when penalty claims were turned down by referee Mike Blackledge.

With the unavailable Gavin Frost, John Bell and Damian Hilton and the injured Ben Nower and Neil Bugdale joining long term absentees Warren Preston and Matty Robinson there was a recall for Under 18 captain Jake McCabe with Steve Shipley moving into midfield.

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Haverhill started strongly and Lee Salmons blasted wide in the third minute and just a minute later McCabe tackled well to deny the forward a shooting chance.

In the fifth minute the Planters had a good chance when Lee Hunter fed Ricci Butler who shot narrowly wide of the far post. Tom Youngs and Andrew Claydon combined well in the 19th minute, Youngs shot being deflected wide for a corner.

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Nathan Pauling palmed away a Louis Harper shot in the 23rd minute and it was the home side who had the better chances through the rest of the half.

Sam Holmes and Hunt both headed over and Scott Wilby had his shot blocked by Pauling after a jinking run into the box and with the half coming to a close Wilby saw his shot from an acute angle deflected onto a post.

The second half started quietly and on the hour mark Salmons cut inside but shot wide. The Planters responded immediately and Hunter's cross across the face of goal just eluded Youngs.

The home side took the lead when a long throw from Ben Lawrence saw Hunt head home from close range seemingly unchallenged.

Pauling had to save low to his right to deny substitute Marc Abbott three minutes from time.

Deep into injury time the Planters were twice denied an equaliser they barely deserved as Youngs shot was pushed wide by Haverhill keeper Dave Walton and as the ball went wide Hunter was brought down with the referee unimpressed by the Planters' claims for a spot-kick.

Haverhill Rovers: Walton, Abbott, Lawrence, Wardley, Holmes, Harvey, Harper, Hunt, Salmons (Hickman 89), Banham (Kent 78), Wilby (Abbott 78). Unused subs: Kingham, Westcott.

Norwich United: Pauling, McCabe (Wake 89), Jeal, Shipley, Wilson, Coe, Youngs, Squires, Claydon, Hunter, Butler (Blyth 61). Unused subs: Nower, Robinson.

Referee: M Blackledge, Assistants: P McVey & A Titman.

Attendance: 77.

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