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Final whistle for Rovers' old football ground

Tuesday, 4th May 2010.

More than a century of Haverhill history came to an end on Saturday when Haverhill Rovers played their last match at Hamlet Croft, their football ground in Hamlet Road.

The club is leading the community football project which is seeing a new stadium built for them off Chalkstone Way, and which is due to be completed within the next month at a cost of 1.5million.

Long-time fans trooped down to the ground on Saturday afternoon for a last farewell to turf which has seen countless triumphs and disasters over the years.

Several had returned to the town from far-flung parts of the country, or even further afield, drawn back by the old loyalty to the Reds which saw them regulars at the Croft when they lived in Haverhill.

The club had made it free entry to the historic occasion, which saw Haverhill secure a 1-1 draw against Walsham-Le-Willows and thus 12th place in the table against their 13th-placed opponents.

Walsham took the lead after 39 minutes when, following a quick free kick, Lee Sim was brought down in the penalty area by home captain Marcus Hunt and James Tatham sent goalkeeper Matt Morrison the wrong way with his spot kick.

The half-time introduction of Ryan Kent turned thing round for the hosts and they equalised after 54 minutes, some good work by Shaun Banham ending with Louis Harper putting the ball low past keeper Duncan McAnally and into the bottom right hand corner.

Banham also shot wide from an angle in the final good chance for any side at the ground.

The last Haverhill Rovers team to run out onto the turf at the Croft was Matt Morrison, Paul Abbott, Danny Shipton, Stuart Wardley, Jamie Challis, Stuart Kingham, Marc Abbott, Marcus Hunt, Martin Westcott, Shaun Banham, Louis Harper. Subs: Anthony Fernandez, Ben Fisher, Paul Hunt, Ryan Kent (for Jamie Challis, 46).

Hamlet Croft, which belongs to St Edmundsbury Borough Council, has been earmarked as a likely site for housing development.

Haverhill Online News

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