EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND
Mildenhall Town 0 Brantham Athletic 4
MILDENHALL Town’s participation in this season’s FA Cup ended at the first hurdle courtesy of a 4-0 loss to Brantham Athletic, writes Liam Apicella and Scott Howe.
The home side’s cause wasn’t helped by the second-half dismissal of keeper Josh Pope and the failure to convert a number of chances, including a penalty kick.
Christian Appleford’s Mildenhall enjoyed the better of the opening 45 minutes, with strikers Andrew Wood and John Sands both spurning presentable opportunities.
Sands would go on to miss a 25th-minute penalty, seeing his powerful effort well held by visiting keeper Ryan Bedingfield.
To rub further salt into the Mildenhall wound, in the very last attack before the break, Brantham’s Lee Grimwood wriggled free inside the box with a neat turn to fire past Pope from a tight angle.
Mildenhall began the second half in the ascendency and should have drawn level with 50 minutes played.
Stuart Walker bustled his way into the penalty area before drilling in a low cross, which neither Wood or Sands were able to score from, the latter striking the post from close range.
Those misses were duly punished just after the hour-mark thanks to last campaign’s Ridgeons League top scorer Ollie Mann. Dave Grimwood was the creator, splitting the home defence with a through ball which Mann lashed past the advancing Pope.
Pope’s afternoon would end soon after when he brought down Sean Gunn inside the area.
The keeper was handed the first red card of his career with winger Steve Holder taking over the custodian duties. His first job was to pick the ball out of the net after Mann neatly converted the resultant spot kick.
Holder was only beaten on one more occasion via a long-range strike from Adam Bloss with 10 minutes remaining.
Brantham will face Haverhill Rovers in the next round.