Two penalties but Planters lose out
Norwich United 2, Mildenhall Town 3: Despite two second-half penalties from Lee Hunter the Planters lost out to Mildenhall Town by the odd goal in five with all the goals coming in the second half.
Norwich United 2, Mildenhall Town 3
Despite two second-half penalties from Lee Hunter the Planters lost out to Mildenhall Town by the odd goal in five with all the goals coming in the second half.
Mildenhall started the stronger and from a third-minute James Paterson left-wing cross Luke Catchpole fired over from close range and Ben Nower did well to tip over Luke Thurlbourne's 8th minute shot from 25 yards out.
The visitors continued to apply most of the early pressure but the Planters' defence coped admirably and they slowly came into the game and on 19 minutes Lee Hunter and Andrew Claydon, starting for the first time after his lengthy injury lay off, combined well down the right and Claydon's cross was just ahead of Matty Robinson.
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This sparked the Planters into life and three minutes later a strong drive from Robinson forced Josh Pope into a save and a minute later Paul Atkins did well to steal the ball away from a defender run into the area and force a good save low down from Pope.
Mildenhall weathered the brief storm and on 33 minutes Ryan Foster was denied when Jamie Wilson did well to block his shot. Four minutes later and Ben Furlong was on the post to clear Aaron Turner's header at the far post after a right wing corner.
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Claydon saw a shot saved by Pope, while at the other end Nower had to push away John Sands header, both keepers doing well to see a goalless first half which Mildenhall would have been disappointed not to have been in front.
The Planters looked much better in the opening stages of the second half and almost immediately Atkins released Claydon, who was quickly closed down by two defenders.
Claydon was leading the line well and he earned the Planters a penalty when he was brought down from behind as he cut in from the right. Hunter stepped up to hit past Pope's despairing dive to give the Planters a 51st minute lead.
Within five minutes the Planters were behind, Dave Werthmann was unmarked as he headed home from a free kick on the left less than two minutes after Hunter's opener and three minutes later Ryan Foster fired home after Nower had rushed out to deny Sands and the ball fell to the midfielder.
Hunter was unfortunate when he chipped Pope only to see Michael Harvey head off the line.
The Planters were level after 63 minutes though, Claydon was put clear of the Mildenhall defence and as Pope came to close him down Claydon knocked the ball past him and Pope brought him down, after some confusion the referee pointed to the spot and after some time he eventually showed the yellow card to the relieved Pope. Hunter this time hit the spot kick straight down the middle as Pope dived to his left.
The decisive goal came on 74 minutes when Foster grabbed his second with another good shot from distance nestling in the far bottom corner.
Mildenhall substitute was denied by Nower while Atkins went close at the far post from Hunter's lob heading narrowly wide to see the Planters chances disappear.
Planters Manager Paul Chick was frustrated both by his team and the referee. "No excuses we didn't start well, we were disjointed before the break, but having got in front we lacked concentration, but surely their keeper had to go."
Norwich United: Nower, Squires, Furlong, Wilson, Coe, T Jeal, Hunter, Robinson, Claydon, Atkins, Blyth (Butler 74). Unused subs: Youngs, McCabe, Bugdale, Pauling.
Mildenhall Town: Pope, McCabe (Harley 76), Paterson, L Thurlbourne, Harvey, Werthmann, Catchpole, Foster, Sands (Barrett 86), Turner (Cooper 88), J Thurlbourne. Unused sub: Hefferon.
Referee: G Sandell. Assistants: J Chapman & P Burnham.