Mildenhall ease through
Mildenhall 3, St Neotts 0: John Sands scored twice as Mildenhall Town eventually eased into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup at the expense of visiting St Neots, writes Liam Apicella.
Mildenhall 3, St Neotts 0
John Sands scored twice as Mildenhall Town eventually eased into the first qualifying round of the FA Cup at the expense of visiting St Neots, writes Liam Apicella.
After a goal-less first half Ryan Foster curled the hosts into the lead before Sands took centre stage to secure Mildenhall's passage through.
Goal scoring opportunities were few and far between during the opening 45 minutes, but the chances that did arrive fell to Mildenhall.
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After just four minutes Sands fired straight at goalkeeper Luke Mcshane following good work from strike partner Danny Partridge.
Foster then collected a clearance from Mcshane with 36 minutes gone, but with the keeper stranded, Foster sent his effort just wide of goal.
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The midfielder didn't have to wait long to open his account for Mildenhall though.
Eight minutes into the second half Luke Catchpole and James Paterson linked well down the left hand side and when the ball was only half cleared, Foster was on hand to bend the ball beyond the reach of Mcshane from 12 yards.
Going a goal behind provoked a reaction from Steve Lomas' St Neots and they were agonizingly close to equalizing with 65 minutes played. Parys Okai swung over corner which was met by the unmarked Steve Dogbe. The centre back's header beat Josh Pope, but not defender Nathan Clarke who blocked the ball on the line before Dogbe sent the rebound wide.
Dogbe's failure to haul his side level was duly punished with 20 minutes remaining. Partridge's pace took him beyond the visitor's rearguard and his low cross was met by Sands, who from a narrow angle drilled his effort underneath Mcshane.
Substitute Shane Fox headed against the post as the Saints looked for a route back into the tie, but that route was closed in stoppage time when Foster lifted a pass over the top which Sands raced onto before firing powerfully past Mcshane.