SUFFOLK PREMIER CUP
Needham Market 2
Mildenhall Town 0
By Alex Moss at Bloomfields
Mildenhall Town bowed out of this season’s Suffolk Premier Cup at the first hurdle after a 2-0 defeat away at higher league Needham Market on Tuesday night.
The Hall, flying high at the top of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table, conceded a goal in each half as they exited the Premier Cup in the first round for the second year running.
Two seasons ago, under the tutelage of former boss Christian Appleford, Mildenhall knocked the Marketmen out of the Premier Cup, beating their higher-league hosts 1-0 at Bloomfields.
And despite there now being two divisions between the two sides, Dean Greygoose’s men went into their latest clash with Needham in a confident mood, having won all of their last four games.
It was the lower league visitors who had the first sight of goal, with Stephen Spriggs twisting and turning Needham left-back Darryl Coakley before forcing a shot straight into the hands of back-up goalkeeper James Bradbrook.
While Greygoose had made just two changes to the side which started in the 2-0 league win over Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday, hosts Needham made six alterations to their last starting line-up.
But once the Ryman League Premier Division high-flyers found their stride, it looked to be only a matter of when, not if, they would score.
A poor headed clearance from Jacob Brown fell to the feet of Luke Ingram, who saw his shot blocked by Hall goalkeeper Josh Pope and then come back off the post.
Another inviting chance for the home side came when Colchester United loanee Jack Curtis played a neat ball past the Mildenhall defence to Max Booth who, with only the goalkeeper to beat, lifted his shot onto the crossbar.
Needham continued to turn the screw and eventually found a breakthrough on 42 minutes.
Reece Dobson collected the ball from Bradbrook and raced unchallenged through the pitch and shot low past Pope to put the hosts in front.
Mildenhall desperately searched for a way back into the game in the second half, but were continually thwarted by the Needham defence.
With 14 minutes left on the clock the Marketmen virtually sealed their place in the last eight, as Billy Holland headed past Pope from a corner to put his side 2-0 up.
The Hall continued to push for a response and Dan Brown was unfortunate to see his shot hit the post in the final minutes, but in the end Greygoose’s men fell short of causing another upset at Bloomfields.
Mildenhall now return to league action with trips to Hadleigh United on Saturday (3pm), and Godmanchester Rovers on Wednesday night (7.45pm).
Mildenhall Town: Pope, J Brown (Cooper 77), Asensi, Butcher (c), Ruddy, Simpson (Stillinger 72), Spriggs, Sartini, D Brown, Clift (L Parkinson 68), Tolliday. Subs not used: Hilton, S Parkinson. Referee: C Walchester. Att: 119. Journal man of the match: Dan Brown.