First-half strikes earn Mildenhall derby win

TUSSLE: Mildenhall's Ben Yeomans battles for possession. Picture: Mark Westley

TUSSLE: Mildenhall's Ben Yeomans battles for possession. Picture: Mark Westley

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THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: Ely City 0-2 Mildenhall Town

Goals from Matt Green and Rob Ruddy ensured that Mildenhall Town made a winning start to their 2016-17 campaign away at rivals Ely City on Tuesday night.

Included in the away side’s starting line-up was the returning Stephen Spriggs, who made a telling contribution at the Unwin Ground with just two minutes on the clock.

It was his free kick from the right flank that found Green, who rose highest to power a header inside the post, despite the best efforts of Ely goalkeeper Harry Reynolds.

Green was off target with another headed effort eight minutes later, but there were no such issues for Ruddy on the half hour mark.

On this occasion it was right-back David Cooper that hoisted the ball into Ely territory, from where Luke Butcher flicked the ball on. His fellow centre-back Ruddy was alert to the situation and duly volleyed beyond the reach of Reynolds from close range.

As the half-time whistle approached, Ely attacker Craig Neal nipped in on the blindside of the Mildenhall defence, but with the angle against him, the chipped shot drifted wide.

Mildenhall’s Ben Yeomans blazed wildly over from six yards out at the start of the second half, before Matt Simpson spurned the home team’s best opening of the game when he glanced Daniel Jeffrey’s cross from deep wide.

As the clock ticked down, visiting substitute Dan Brown had two efforts, but neither of them worked Reynolds.

Ely: Reynolds, Jeffrey, Alsop, Griffin, Walter, Williams, Newman, Seymour, Simpson, Darling, Neal

Mildenhall: Pope, Cooper, Parkinson, Butcher, Ruddy, J Brown, Spriggs, Green, Bacon, Yeomans, Tolliday