Road to Wembley 17/18: Preliminary Round

Framlingham Town 0-1 Mildenhall Town

Well I haven’t given up yet, 3 games in and the journey is still going strong!

Strangely enough, it was at the home of my beloved Ipswich Town that I started my journey at 12:30. Many would call me mad for giving up a home game when Ipswich have had their best start since 1999, but I have committed myself now so I feel a duty to see it through!

The weather again was changeable, sunshine and showers which just seem to follow me everywhere on this journey but the game is most definitely on!

I grab a bottle of the customary Ghostship which is in the Badingham Road Sports Club bar which is conveniently situated outside of the ground. I also notice the gaggle of diehard Mildenhall fans who have turned up.

The crowd generally is healthy for a non league tie and at 243 beats the EP game and is my highest so far. I trundle to the turnstile and grab a programme which is pretty well produced for a Eastern Counties league side.

The game kicks off with Mildenhall in yellow and Framlingham in their standard green and white hoops.

Mildenhall create a lot of early pressure and show why they are two divisions above Framlingham. The away supporters are vociferous behind the goal to the left which Mildenhall are attacking, all 5 of them. Chants of ‘Cmon the Hall’ and ‘Cmon Mildenhall’ will become slightly irritating throughout the first half.

On 7′ Framlingham have a good shot from Jake Taylor which goes just wide of the right hand post.

Two minutes later Mildenhall score what will go on to be the games only goal. A hopeful cross is whizzed in from the right hand side and there is Shaun Avis at the far post to nod it into the net from two yards out. Easy.

On 12′ The ball goes out for a throw in. I pass it back to the ball boy and that’s my contribution for the day complete.

Again two minutes later, another rubbish cross into the box somehow finds the Mildenhall No. 11 who heads but this time hits the crossbar. Framlingham are making this all far too easy.

The game then dies down with the early pace having dropped off. However, Mildenhall still look comfortable on the ball. I hear the clunk of skateboards behind me on the neighbouring skatepark which is supported by the occasional ‘Cmon the hall’ from Mildenhall Towns No. 1 fan.

The game then drifts towards half time with few further clear cut chances for either side. Mildenhall still look comfortable with their lead.

HALF-TIME Framlingham 0-1 Mildenhall

Despite the ticket sellers best efforts, I cannot be tempted into a 50-50 draw ticket and I didnt hear the winning number anyway so it’s just as well…

The game restarts and Framlingham look to draw level. Jake Taylor has a great chance on 47′ for Framlingham with his header just wide.

On what is a changeable afternoon weather wise, the wind is clearly affecting the game. There is again few chances at either end but Framlingham have grown into the game more than in the first half.

On 62′ the Mildenhall no. 12 had a great mazy solo run and his shot goes just over the bar. Close.

Two minutes later Framlingham have a great chance to draw level. No. 11 whizzes a free kick into the box which is missed by everyone including the goalkeeper. Goal kick.

Framlingham then have their best period of the second half. Two corners in quick succession though ultimately amount to nothing.

The Mildenhall No. 7 then has a number of chances but can’t capitalise on any of them. The game is becoming stretched.

On 88′ Mildenhall have a great chance to seal it. No. 15 blazes down the wing and crosses the ball it into the box but there is no one there. The ball falls loosely 9 yards out but no one in a yellow shirt is there to tap it in. Smothered by the Framlingham keeper.

A defeat would be harsh on Framlingham and on 90′ a header by Alex Ling cannons off the crossbar. 3 minutes later, in added time the ball goes into the box but is spilled by the Mildenhall keeper. Framlingham players are all queuing up to score but remarkably the ball gets scuffed wide of the left hand post. What a let off for the Hall!

And so 1-0 to Mildenhall is how it finished. The result is harsh on Framlingham, but I must admit I’m relieved not to have another replay on my journey. Framlingham have played their part in their mini cup run and can be proud to have held their own against a side two divisions above. Mildenhall will now find out their opponents in the first qualifying round on Monday. Here’s hoping for another Suffolk side!

Our thanks to Olly Ward. Follow him on Twitter. Also, follw his journey on his blog!

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