Mildenhall Town ease through in FA Vase against Crawley Green as returning Matt Green scores a brace
Matt Green is back – and he has wasted little time in endearing himself to the Mildenhall Town faithful once again.
An all-action midfielder with a keen eye for goal, Green brought an end to his highly successful three-and-a-half-year Mildenhall association by linking up with Histon in the summer of 2018.
But, after helping the Stutes to win the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division title last term, he rejoined Mildenhall earlier this month and marked just his second outing since returning with a brace in Saturday’s 4-1 Buildbase FA Vase home victory over Crawley Green.
And while his presence has given the Mildenhall midfield a boost, the 31-year-old is also hopeful the reunion will do him plenty of good.
“I loved my time at Histon. There is a great bunch of lads there but I ended up losing that buzz for football – both playing matches and training,” he said.
“I just thought that if I am going to get that back at my age, I needed to be at club I know really well and one I have a lot of time for. It’s a great club behind the scenes and while the style of play is different under Ricky (Cornish, manager) to when I was here with Dean (Greygoose, former boss), the club itself has not changed and I like that.
“I got on with a lot of the fans during my first stint. I kept in touch with a lot of people at the club and it is great to be back.”
Meanwhile, on his weekend goalscoring exploits – which put Mildenhall 1-0 and 2-1 up before Jack Brame and skipper Luke Butcher finished the job in the second half – Green added: “I always like to get in the box and try to score goals.
“It is nice to have got two in such a big game like a Vase tie. I got to the last 16 with Histon last season so it would be great to go at least one better this year.
“As a management team and with the players we have, we have to be looking at having a decent run in a competition like this.”
Green’s first goal of the afternoon came in the 15th minute against Spartan South Midlands Football League Premier Division opposition who had lost just two of their previous nine outings in all competitions.
Joe Asensi swung in a corner from the right and the Crawley defence seemed to part, providing Green with the time and space to power in a header from point blank range.
Now a goal to the good, the home side went in search of another and it almost came in the 27th minute when Ryan Yallop’s cross eventually dropped kindly for Brame, but Mildenhall’s leading marksman saw his effort saved by Martin Conway.
And within 60 seconds, Crawley had stunned their dominant hosts by scoring an equaliser.
Mildenhall goalkeeper Jake Hayhoe did well to make a save down low to his right after the ball had travelled through a crowd of bodies, but Crawley’s number four Tyler Ingham was most alive to the rebound and turned the ball home.
Nevertheless, Mildenhall remained the assertive force and there was little surprise when they regained the lead seven minutes before the break.
It was the Asensi and Green combination that did the trick again – the former on this occasion curling in a free-kick that the latter fired in.
At 2-1, the next goal in the tie was always going to be crucial and Brame had a good opportunity to notch it just one minute into the second half, but while his downward header from Yallop’s cross leftConway flat footed, it also drifted wide of the far upright.
However, the forward did not dwell on that missed opening and in the 48th minute he got his goal. Ollie Canfer picked out Ben Nolan wide on the right and he in turn crossed towards the back post, where Brame was waiting to find the net for the seventh time since joining from Walsham-le-Willows in the summer.
Up the other end Hayhoe raced off his line to deny Crawley captain Phil Draycott in the 54th minute, but attacks from the away team became rarer and rarer as the tie progressed.
It looked a matter of time before Mildenhall put the outcome beyond any doubt with a fourth goal, which duly arrived in the 72nd minute.
Phill Weavers’ header from Scott Chaplin’s corner was saved by Conway, but skipper Butcher was waiting virtually on the line to apply the finishing touch.
Brame had the chance to add further gloss to the scoreline three minutes later from the penalty spot, but Conway – diving to his right – made the stop.
Ultimately, though, it mattered little as Mildenhall secured their 30th home win in the competition’s history in comfortable fashion.
Mildenhall: Hayhoe, Yallop, Asensi, Butcher, Weavers, Green, Steed, Chaplin (Manels 81), Nolan, Brame (Turner 86), Canfer
Journal Man of the Match – Matt Green: Two goals in a commanding display
More by this authorLiam Apicella