Mildenhall Town's match winner Jack Brame thriving on the level of competition for places
Competition for places in the Mildenhall Town attack is fierce at the moment, but if Saturday’s match-winning exploits are anything to go by, Jack Brame is relishing the challenge.
The summer signing from Walsham-le-Willows is one of a number of final-third options available to manager Ricky Cornish, who last week added the 2018/19 leading Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division goalscorer Valter Rocha to his armoury.
However, while Rocha’s debut against Hadleigh United at the weekend ended in disappointment with a red card, Brame – in contrast – produced the goods in front of goal.
He found the back of the net in either half and while the visitors – managed by former Mildenhall boss Christian Appleford – pulled a goal back late on, the hosts held on to record their first victory of the season.
Speaking after the 2-1 win, Brame said: “I am really enjoying it here and I have no regrets about the move. It is a big change because I was at Walsham for a long time but it was the right move.
“I am always confident I will grab a goal or two but to be honest I was not too bothered against Hadleigh, I was more concerned about us getting the three points because the start has not been good enough.
“It got a little bit nervy towards the end but we did enough to deserve to win the game. People need to remember that it is a whole new squad and these things take a bit of time.
“We had a really good pre-season and for some reason we have not been able to put that into practice in the league, but hopefully the win kicks us on.”
Meanwhile with the wealth of attacking options currently in situ at Recreation Way, the frontman added: “When I was at Walsham it was often a case of if I was fit then I played, but that is the not the case at Mildenhall.
“Competition is always good, it is healthy and it will get the best out of all of us.
“On a personal level it will kick me on knowing that there is someone else capable of taking my shirt.
“As a striker you always want to score as many goals as you can and hopefully win your team some games – luckily Hadleigh was like that.
“All of us lads up front want the same thing and you need that sort of competition if you are going to win things and challenge for promotion.”
It took Brame 13 minutes to break the deadlock against the visiting Brettsiders with Rocha the architect.
The Portuguese attacker spun his marker expertly and then threaded through a perfectly-weighted pass for the alert striker, who lashed a left footed shot into the roof of the net.
Brame could – and perhaps should – have added a second just three minutes later when he pounced on some hesitancy in the Hadleigh defence, but he took too long to shoot and Nick Punter raced off his line to smother.
Chances for Alex Steed and Rocha came and went, while Mildenhall’s control on proceedings continued in the second half when Joe Asensi released Aaron Turner, who shot straight at Punter.
Things swung further Mildenhall’s way in the 65th minute when Hadleigh defender Charlie Howlett was handed his marching orders for a last-man foul on Brame, although that seemed to galvanize the visitors, who saw a Kyle Ferguson effort hacked off the line by Ryan Yallop and Matt Paine fizz a shot wide.
Up the other end, Rocha’s half volley cannoned against the upright but that proved to be the new signing’s final involvement of note because in the 77th minute he was handed another caution – the first for deliberate handball, the second for kicking the ball away.
Nevertheless, within four minutes the Mildenhall lead was extended after Brame exchanged passes with substitute Tommy Robinson before showing good composure to slot the ball home.
Joel Glover’s deflected goal in the 84th minute made things interesting and Mildenhall were indebted to a smart stop from goalkeeper Jake Hayhoe to deny a Kris Rose header from close range, yet they stood firm to get off the mark ahead of Saturday’s trip to league-leading Norwich United (3pm).