THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Mildenhall Town 2
Almost 12 years after he played his last game for the club, Mat Mitchel-King came back on Tuesday night to help Mildenhall pick up a potentially crucial three points in the Premier Division title race.
The idea of the 33-year-old, who, following his departure in 2005 went on to play professionally for Crewe Alexandra and AFC Wimbledon via Histon, returning to Recreation Way was first floated early last month.
Some red tape with his previous club Chesham United delayed the reunion by a number of weeks, but the centre-back was in the starting line-up as league-leading Mildenhall sent out a message to the chasing pack.
The game itself was a tight and tense affair, one that will certainly not live long in the memory.
But as Mitchel-King declared after the final whistle the result — which moved Mildenhall 11 points clear of their fourth-placed opponents, who have three games in hand — is all that matters.
“At this stage of the season, there is plenty to play for so it was always going to be tough,” he said.
“They set up quite deep, got a lot of men behind the ball and basically asked us to break them down if we could.
“It looked for a long while that it was going to be a 0-0, which was no use for us, but we found that quality.
He continued: “I have been in teams that have won leagues and these are the performances that win you titles.
“You need to win the ugly games and that is a good sign for us.
“Hopefully we can build on that because the confidence is starting to grow among the lads.”
Neither goalkeeper will feel they were overworked on the night, yet it was Gorleston’s Tavrean Molloy that had to pick the ball out of his net twice in the closing stages.
Substitute Dan Brown featured heavily in both of Mildenhall’s goals, the first of which came 11 minutes from time.
Brown’s pace took him down towards the right byline, from where he drilled in a cross for Stephen Spriggs to turn the ball home.
And with stoppage time approaching, the strike got his name on the scoresheet with a low shot from the edge of the box that wrong-footed Molloy.
While the win put some daylight between themselves and Gorleston, Mildenhall now also lead Felixstowe & Walton United in second place by six points, though The Seasiders have a couple of games in hand and a superior goal difference.
Mildenhall: Pope, J Brown, Asensi, Mitchel-King, Mackay, Simpson, Green, Spriggs, Tolliday (Melanson 73), Bacon, Clift (D Brown 52)
Journal Man of the Match: Gareth Simpson