Manager calls for Mildenhall Town players to play with freedom as they face potential relegation from Bostik League North Division
‘Play with freedom’ – that is the message from Mildenhall Town manager Ricky Cornish as his players head into the Easter weekend facing up to the prospect of Bostik League North Division relegation.
Mildenhall host Canvey Island on Saturday before travelling to Felixstowe & Walton United for an all-Suffolk affair on Monday (both 3pm) knowing that even two victories might not be enough to preserve their status heading into the final day of the season, at home against Grays Athletic on April 27.
Third-from-bottom Witham Town, who occupy the nearest available safety spot, are six points clear of Cornish’s basement side and will secure themselves another season at Step 4 if they collect four points from the last nine available.
“We have made too many silly mistakes at both ends in recent weeks,” said Cornish. “The situation now is clear. We have to win at least two of the last three and hope that other results go our way.
“Nobody is expecting anything from us so the pressure if off – we can play with freedom in both games this weekend.
“There is still not any negativity coming out of our camp. If we can get that win on Saturday then who knows what will happen.”
Draws have been Mildenhall’s Achilles heel this term and they played out another on Saturday as their trip to Barking, who played the whole of the second half with 10 men, ended one goal apiece.
Captain Luke Butcher’s impressive volley from distance put them in the lead after 16 minutes and when Jack Edwards was handed his marching orders for a foul on Tom Debenham five minutes before the break it seemed Mildenhall were going to give their survival chances a big shot in the arm.
However, Ola Ogunwamide scored for the depleted home side in the 51st minute and despite some late pressure from the visitors the spoils were shared.
It sealed a division-high 12th draw of the season for Mildenhall and their seventh since Cornish took charge just ahead of their Boxing Day trip to AFC Sudbury.
To put that into context, the three sides directly above them – Romford, Witham and Soham Town Rangers – have drawn 13 matches combined.
After missing the clash at Barking, midfielder James Seymour is set to return to the squad for the visit of Canvey. When the sides met earlier in the season Evans Kouassi put Mildenhall in front but an Adam Vyse brace earned the home outfit all three points.