DIVISION ONE NORTH
AFC Sudbury 0
Mildenhall Town 2
During his two-and-a-half years as goalkeeper of a successful AFC Sudbury side, Dean Greygoose was used to winning on home soil.
And, while much has changed at Sudbury since his departure in 2005, Greygoose showed on Monday that he still has the knack of picking up a positive result at The Wardale Williams Stadium.
Not that the former Crewe Alexandra shot-stopper was taking any of the credit, choosing instead to heap praise on his Mildenhall Town players after second-half goals from former Sudbury players Jacob Brown and Danny Crow earned the visitors all three points.
“Sudbury have not won a league game yet and so they were under pressure, but we have come here and got a result,” said Greygoose.
“Is it tactics? Is it the preparation we did? Ultimately, it is down to the players.
“Managers sometimes get given credit that is not theirs — the players earned this result. It was all down to their belief.
“Luke Butcher showed why he is our captain — he was fantastic all afternoon. Joe Asensi alongside him was great — I could go through the whole team.
“One or two might have had iffy first halves, but they got their heads down and did better.
“We knew it was going to be a tough match, but I am really proud at how they kept at it, especially in those hot conditions.”
Away victories are rarely achieved without a good display from the visiting goalkeeper, and this one was no exception.
Mildenhall defended well throughout, closing up the gaps and allowing their hosts to have possession in areas where they did not pose too much of a threat.
But on the occasions that Sudbury did manage to make some inroads, they found the away side’s number one, Sam Roach, to be in stubborn mood.
It was Roach’s battle with Sudbury’s Adam Mills that dominated the encounter, with the Sudbury wing-back thwarted a number of times.
And he was not the only Sudbury player to be left cursing his luck, with skipper Sam Clarke seeing his rising effort in the 29th minute from the edge of the box cannon against the underside of the crossbar and bounce to safety.
It was after 43 minutes that Roach produced arguably his best save of the afternoon to frustrate Mills, who had cut in from the left and curled goalwards, only for a strong left hand to keep the scoreline level.
The duel resumed seven minutes after the restart — this time Roach racing off his line to save at Mills’ feet.
It was a moment that came at a cost for Roach as he suffered a head injury that required lengthy treatment and was a major reason as to why 15 minutes of injury time were played at the end of the contest.
With their goalkeeper patched up, Mildenhall went on the offensive and got their reward in the 62nd minute.
Jacob Brown had a couple of sighters from distance during the first half, but this time he got himself into the area, showing good strength to out-muscle his marker Jeremiah Kamanzi and smartly convert Jake Chamber-Shaw’s cross.
Soon after, Mills’ free-kick from 25 yards out kissed the outside of Roach’s post, before Mildenhall doubled their advantage with 69 minutes on the clock.
Goalscorer Jacob Brown drilled in a cross for his namesake Dan, who had come on after just 31 minutes for Shaun Avis to provide more pace in attack.
The striker took one touch to control and then got off a low shot that Sudbury goalkeeper Paul Walker turned against the post, leaving Crow with the simplest of finishes.
It was relatively comfortable for Greygoose’s men thereafter, with the defence — led by skipper Butcher — repelling most of what was thrown their way.
Mildenhall: Roach, Kerins, Curry, Butcher, Asensi, Hilton (Simpson 79), Chambers-Shaw (Ruddy 79), Green, Avis (D Brown 31), Crow, J Brown
Journal Man of the Match - Sam Roach: There were a number of contenders for the award, but Mildenhall’s goalkeeper — aged just 18 — made some key saves and did not let the head injury affect him.