Hall go in search of more history
The last 12 months have seen Mildenhall Town make plenty of club history, but according to manager Dean Greygoose, his team are not ready to let up just yet.
Last May, Greygoose guided Mildenhall to their first ever League Challenge Cup triumph by beating Norwich United 2-1, while this season has seen them romp to a maiden Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division title.
And on Monday, the Suffolk side has the chance to wrap up the double as they look to defend the trophy they lifted 12 months ago when neighbouring Newmarket Town provide the opposition at Brewers Green Lane, home of Diss Town FC (3pm).
Just 12 teams have managed to win the Eastern Counties top flight title and Challenge Cup in the same season, with only two — Needham Market and Norwich United — having done so since the turn of the millennium.
On top of that, not since Sudbury Town in 1990 has the cup been won by the same side in back-to-back years, all of which provides Mildenhall with ample opportunity to write another new chapter in the club’s record books.
“What we have achieved in such a short period of time has been amazing,” said Greygoose. “Everyone knew the league was our main focus this year, but we take every cup very seriously as well.
“The boys are very keen to retain it because it was a special win last year.
“The team has made history over the last two seasons and we want to keep that up for as long as possible.”
It is Greygoose’s belief that the victory over the then champions Norwich United in 2016 — courtesy of two late goals from substitute Dan Brown — instilled the winning mentality that set his charges on the path to league glory this term.
Looking forward, the boss has insisted that a second Challenge Cup win in as many seasons will only serve to hold his squad in good stead as they eye a stint in the Ryman League set-up.
“The win over Norwich United gave everyone belief,” added Greygoose.
“The players thought if they could beat Norwich United, they were capable of beating anyone.
“The players, supporters and whole club really started to buy into what we were trying to do after that win.
“If you look at our team most weeks this season, nine or 10 of them played in last year’s cup final.
“We want more days like that. Winning football matches is a bit like a drug.
“There is no chance we will be settling for what we have done. Winning the cup again will enhance the belief.”
Chris Bacon (suspended) and the cup-tied duo of Arran Mackay and Max Melanson will all miss the clash.
n For Newmarket manager Kevin Grainger’s thoughts on the final, see www.newmarketjournal.co.uk/sport