Castlemen gearing up for another FA Cup encounter

UP FOR THE CUP: Framlingham boss Mel Aldis
UP FOR THE CUP: Framlingham boss Mel Aldis
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They have already caused one upset in what is their debut season in the Emirates FA Cup — now Framlingham Town are hunting another.

The Castlemen, who are playing in the world’s oldest cup competition for the first time in their 130-year history, overcame higher-league Wadham Lodge in a Extra Preliminary Round replay last week.

And the reward for that triumph over their Step Five opponents is a home encounter with last term’s Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division champions, Mildenhall Town, now of the Bostik League Division One North (Step Four).

Manager Mel Aldis is well aware his team are the big underdogs for tomorrow’s Preliminary Round tie at Badingham Road (3pm), but providing they give a good account of themselves, he will be satisfied.

“We know we are going to have to do something special and hope that Mildenhall have an off day,” said the experienced boss.

“But there is always at least one upset in every round and it is all about what happens on the day.

“If we can stay in the game early on and soak up any pressure, you never know.

“We will give them the respect they deserve and also look to give a good account of ourselves. I cannot ask any more from the lads than that.”

While Framlingham have made an impressive start to the new 2017/18 Thurlow Nunn League First Division season — winning both of their games and scoring six goals — Mildenhall have lost their opening two Division One North fixtures.

They started with a 2-1 loss at Heybridge Swifts, before succumbing to a 1-0 loss at the hands of Dereham Town on Tuesday night.

Nevertheless, Aldis, who has come up against the West Suffolk club on numerous occasions down the years, does not expect Dean Greygoose’s outfit to have been adversely affected by their losing start.

“Mildenhall are a club I have come up against quite a bit with the likes of Stowmarket and Debenham,” he said.

“By all accounts, they have had two narrow losses that sound as though they could have quite easily gone the other way for them.

“The manager they have and the players in the squad have too much experience to have let those defeats hamper them.”

Aldis will be without the services of the suspended Johnny Kerridge for Mildenhall’s visit, while Jake Taylor — a scorer of goals in both of Framlingham’s league games this term — is on holiday.

Goalkeeper Gary Rose will also sit out the encounter with a rib injury, which has prompted Aldis to secure the services of former Whitton United and Debenham LC stopper Sam Chilvers.