THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Mildenhall Town 2
Christian Appleford believes Mildenhall Town’s spirit can carry them to better things this season after earning their fourth consecutive win.
Hall defeated Walsham-le-Willows 2-1 on Tuesday with goals from Craig Nurse and Alex Steed to move up to fourth in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.
With an FA Cup first qualifying round tie against Witham Town to look forward to on September 14 as well, things appear to be clicking into gear for Appleford’s charges.
“There is definitely a different feel to when we were up there challenging last year,” said the Hall boss. “Everyone is pulling their weight for one another.
“Everyone is tracking back and there is a real team ethos and spirit.”
Mildenhall host Brantham Athletic in the Thurlow Nunn Premier tomorrow (3pm), but may be without Steve Holder (hamstring) and Kris Thomas (shin), while Adarian Judge could be back in contention after his partner gave birth to a baby on Monday.
Reflecting on his club’s off-the-field state, Appleford added: “If I could say what is my perfect set-up, I would describe how it is now.”
A bumper crowd of 177 at Recreation Way were treated to some fine entertainment as Mildenhall edged out Walsham in a fast-paced derby clash on Tuesday.
The hosts opened the scoring after five minutes when Nurse beat Willows goalkeeper Duncan McAnally to head home David Cooper’s corner.
Ten minutes later, James Paterson bore down on goal as Town continued their fast start, only for McAnally to spread himself well.
Hall had another good opportunity when Nurse’s fierce free-kick was parried to Dave Werthmann, but the skipper dragged his shot wide.
As the half wore on, Walsham started to weave their magic through midfield and their first chance came on 27 minutes when Nathan Clarke’s header was saved by Josh Pope.
The visitors kept pressing and Pope denied Paul Musgrove and Ryan Foster before half-time, but the scores were level four minutes after the break when Ollie Hughes nodded in Lee Sim’s cross, after which the match entered a fascinating spell of end-to-end football.
The hosts were back in front on the hour-mark when Steed converted a Ben Coe delivery.
Pope then dived well at the feet of Hughes and Michael Harvey’s tackle ended a run from Foster, while Paterson and Coe went close for Hall.
The away side piled on the pressure in the final 15 minutes, but other than a snap-shot from Andrew Wood, there were few scares as Mildenhall sealed a fourth consecutive win.
Mildenhall: Pope, Cooper, Cornish, Steed, Harvey, Werthmann, Paterson, Nurse, Blake, Holder, Coe. Subs: Trevivian, Jones, Turner, Hitching, Amery.
Walsham: McAnally, Sim, Agricole, Morton, Clarke, Bolton, Thorrold, Foster, Hughes, Wood, Musgrove. Subs: Robinson, Brame, Newman, Tatham.