A first-half header from David Lampshire was enough to see Mildenhall Town advance through to the semi-finals of the Thurlow Nunn League Cup at the expense of Long Melford last night (Wednesday, January 27).
In a tie that saw both sides spurn presentable chances at Stoneylands, it was Lampshire that displayed a clinical touch two minutes before the break to decide the outcome of the tie.
Prior to that, Mildenhall goalkeeper Josh Pope was called into action to deny Melford’s leading goalscorer Jamie Griffiths on two occasions, while up the other end Lampshire saw his headed effort cleared off the line by home full-back Cobi Guyon.
However, former Bury Town centre-forward Lampshire was not to be denied and he made the decisive impact in the 43rd minute. David Cooper’s inswinging corner from the left flank was flicked on at the near post by Luke Butcher and with Melford goalkeeper Sam Mansfield stranded, Lampshire rose highest to nod in his seventh goal in Mildenhall colours.
After the resumption Lampshire’s strike partner Dan Brown had three opportunities in quick succession to make the victory safe, but he was unable to convert any of them. The first of those was saved by the legs of Mansfield, with his second shot cannoning off the post. The third attempt saw the number nine carry the ball from the halfway line, only to then blaze over from 10 yards out.
With their position in the competition looking more precarious as time wore on, Melford inevitably threw caution to the wind in the closing stages and that sense of adventure should have paid dividends in the 88th minute. Substitute Josh Dalziel was left unmarked inside the Mildenhall area, yet he planted his header from point blank range wide of Pope’s upright.
Pope then had to show great reflexes deep into stoppage time when following a goalmouth scramble he turned the ball onto the crossbar, securing his team’s spot in the last four in the process.
Dean Greygoose’s men will now take on Godmanchester Rovers at Recreation Way for a place in May’s final, having already faced the Cambridgeshire outfit on four occasions this season.