Mildenhall Town still trying to find the right balance after losing to Coggeshall Town in the Bostik League North Division
After witnessing his side ship another four goals at the weekend, Mildenhall Town manager Dean Greygoose admitted that he is still striving to find the right balance.
Scoring goals themselves was Mildenhall’s Achilles’ heel last term – their first ever in the Bostik League North Division.
However, with the introduction of flying wingers Evans Kouassi and Emmanuel Osei – plus the arrival of attack-minded midfielder Jarid Robson – that problem appears to have been sufficiently addressed.
The two goals scored in Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of Coggeshall Town took their tally for the campaign to 19 – a total that only four sides can currently better.
It is at the other end of the pitch where the issues have now arisen, with the goals-against tally in the league standing at 22, which means they have the second leakiest defence in the division.
Since keeping their last clean sheet on September 25, Mildenhall have conceded 22 goals from seven outings in all competitions – a record Greygoose has conceded needs to be rectified sooner rather than later.
Speaking after the loss to Coggeshall, the boss said: “We look good going forward and pose a big threat, but we cannot defend and they could have scored a few more.
“It is the balance of the team. We are short of players and the squad is not as strong as I would like.
“I have been working hard to bring a couple in but for one reason or another it has not come off.
“The goals we conceded today are down to us, some of them were awful goals.
“We are missing Luke Butcher (injured), but even with him in the team we did not look secure.
“Elements of our game are really good and the attacking improvements are pleasing, but other elements are poor and that is why we are conceding so many.
“It is about balance, nothing against personnel or anything like that because we have good players, we just need a boost.”
There was evidence of Mildenhall’s vast improvement going forward as early as the second minute against Coggeshall.
Osei raided down the left before sending in a cross for David Cooper. It seemed that the captain’s first touch had let him down and the chance was gone, but the ball broke kindly for Robson and he buried a low shot from 10 yards out to give the hosts the perfect start.
It almost got even better for Mildenhall just two minutes later when a swift counter-attack was worked to Cooper, who from 20 yards out bent his shot just wide of the post.
The visitors – unbeaten since the second weekend of the season – looked a little shaken by Mildenhall’s speed out of the traps, but they soon settled and started to create openings on a regular basis.
Correy Davidson was denied twice in quick succession at the near post by Blake Horton, but the Mildenhall goalkeeper was powerless to prevent the away side from drawing level in the 15th minute.
Defender Curtis Haynes-Brown showed quick feet to create the space for a shot on the edge of the box. His effort looked to be bound for Horton, but it took a wicked deflection and nestled in the bottom corner.
Coggeshall were now dominant in terms of possession, but Mildenhall still posed a threat and they had the ball in the net again in the 22nd minute, only for Tom Debenham to be denied a seventh goal of the season by an offside flag.
Up the other end George Cocklin curled inches wide, before he went on to play a key role in the game’s key moment in first-half stoppage time.
It appeared Mildenhall would head into the break level at one goal apiece, but after winning a 50/50 challenge with Robson, Cocklin slotted a perfectly-weighted pass through to Bantick, who had timed his run from the right flank with precision.
It left the former AFC Sudbury man with just Horton to beat and he made no mistake, rounding the Australian ‘keeper to roll in his seventh goal in six appearances for the Essex side.
Coggeshall’s third goal came in the 63rd minute when substitute Connor Hubble crossed towards the back post, where Ross Wall was waiting to nod home.
At this point Mildenhall could have folded and Coggeshall certainly had chances to put the game to bed, but after riding their luck the hosts rallied.
Danny Sambridge in the away goal palmed away a Debenham header, with Panayiotis Boxer then being denied from close range.
A second Mildenhall goal eventually arrived four minutes from time to spark hopes of a comeback. Osei was the scorer, heading in at the back post after Tom Boxer had flicked on Cooper’s right-wing corner.
But, with players pouring forward in search of an equaliser, Mildenhall were always likely to get caught on the break and it duly happened with Tom Monk racing clear two minutes into time added on to conclude matters.
Mildenhall: Horton, Smith, Camilo-Tayaca, Seymour, T Boxer, P Boxer, Cooper, Robson, Debenham, Kouassi, Osei
Journal Man of the Match – Blake Horton: His kicking was off, but the goalkeeper made a number of decent saves to keep the scoreline respectable
* Fourth-from-bottom Mildenhall will look to end their four-game losing run in the league at table-topping Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday (3pm).