Hadleigh boss has no regrets

SOCCER: Hadleigh United manager Louis Newman confirmed today that he has no regrets about turning down a tempting invitation to take over as Ipswich Wanderers boss.

By Elvin King

HADLEIGH United manager Louis Newman confirmed today that he has no regrets about turning down a tempting invitation to take over as Ipswich Wanderers boss.

But he did admit results have not gone as well as he would have liked with Hadleigh this term.

He takes his side to Warboys in the First Division of the Jewson League tomorrow without leading scorer Tony Cracknell, who began a five-week suspension last Monday.

Hadleigh have lost five of their last seven league games and are just below halfway in the table with 30 points from 23 matches.

"We have little left to play for," said Newman. "When I decided to decline the offer from Premier Division Wanderers towards the end of last season it was because of the potential at Hadleigh.

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"But for one reason or another it has not worked out. I had very high hopes for this season and was confident we would do well.

"Injuries have not helped but we have not performed consistently on the park. The club as a whole has made progress and is going forward, but the first team has not kept pace."

Newman, a former Chelmsford and Sudbury Town striker, is now unable to play because of injury. But he still retains his enthusiasm for management.

"When that goes it will be time to move on or take a break," he added. "I always assess the situation at Christmas and during May and I have not yet spoken to anyone at the club about next season.

"Despite being disappointed with our results in a real yo-yo campaign I have no regrets about staying loyal to Hadleigh. I did not make that decision lightly and am happy to stick with it."

Cracknell is banned after being sent off against Needham Market before Christmas while Daniel Oakes has suffered a recurrence of his injury and will be missing for another two weeks.

Last season's regular goalkeeper Wayne Donovan is concentrating on university life at Bedford, and so is his brother Miles. Matt Paisley has stood in well between the posts.

Stuart Crawford and Dan Pritchard both left last summer while Newman was able to attract midfield experienced players Chris Smith, Mark Francis and Peter Grant.

"We lost 5-0 at home to Warboys and they had six attacks," said Newman. "Against Somersham last Saturday we lost 3-0 yet had 80 per cent of possession. Hopefully we can put our chances away tomorrow."

Also in the First Division, second-placed Needham Market will be out to get over the massive disappointment of last week's home defeat by Cambridge City Reserves when they play Downham at Bloomfields. Leiston, also competing for promotion, travel to leaders Norwich United while Whitton United will be deep in the Fens at Somersham.

Ipswich Wanderers would love to see an increase in the 40 or so people who regularly give them support at Humber Doucy Lane when they play Soham in the Premier Division.

Stowmarket Town are at home to League Cup finalists Dereham while Woodbridge Town are back in action after a week's break with a visit to Diss Town.

Three Jewson clubs are in the quarter-finals of the FA Carlsberg Vase with Tiptree at Burgess Hill, AFC Sudbury at Lewes and Wroxham at Durham City.