STOWMARKET Town assistant manager Paul Musgrove admitted his side had to weather an early storm before knocking higher-league Mildenhall Town out of this season’s Suffolk Premier Cup.
Mildenhall were made to pay for not taking their chances, including missing a penalty, in Tuesday night’s first-round tie and ended on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline at Rec Way.
The Bostik League North side could have put the tie to bed inside the first 15 minutes, but Stowmarket goalkeeper Callum Robinson produced two superb saves and John Sands also rattled the crossbar.
Stowmarket settled and Josh Mayhew put them ahead from the penalty spot in the 17th minute after Andrew Camilo-Tayaca had needlessly fouled Remi Garrett. Mayhew (far left, partially obscured) is pictured above being congratulated by his team-mates.
Mayhew doubled the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side’s advantage, stretching to divert Garrett’s cross beyond debutant goalkeeper Garry Malone three minutes before the break.
Mildenhall made a double substitution at the interval and put Stowmarket under increasing pressure in the second period, but squandered a golden opportunity to reduce the arrears with 18 minutes remaining.
Sands, who had again been denied by a splendid Robinson save in the 51st minute, was pulled back by the keeper, but Evans Kouassi placed his spot kick wide of the post.
Mildenhall’s profligacy in front of goal was punished when, with nine minutes left, Jack Baker reacted quickest to rifle the ball into the roof of the net after Malone had pushed out Garrett’s drive.
Sands got the goal he deserved when he converted a right-wing cross from close range in the 86th minute, but two minutes later Garrett swept home the fourth after being set up by skipper Ollie Brown.
There was still time for Mildenhall substitute Lee Watkins to receive his marching orders for a second yellow card in injury time to compound Mildenhall’s misery.
Musgrove said afterwards: “I am really delighted with the result. It was always going to be a difficult game coming here and playing with that slope which is a big factor.
“They are a big, strong team and it was a case of sticking to our principles and playing how we like to play.
“We did that very well in the first-half, although we could have been behind in the first 15 minutes when we had to weather the storm.
“Callum Robinson is a well-disciplined lad who is willing to learn off Pottsy (goalkeeping coach Danny Potter) and keep improving. He made some good reaction saves for us not only in the first half but also the second.
“We were clinical in front of goal tonight. Sometimes we are critical as we should be getting more shots off, so it was pleasing that Remi Garrett’s shot was followed up by Jack Baker to score.
“Ollie Brown could have scored the fourth himself, but instead laid it off for Remi to slot home.”
Long Melford face Felixstowe & Walton United on Wednesday evening in this season’s other first-round tie.
Suffolk Premier Cup First Round: Mildenhall Town 1 Stowmarket Town 4.
Suffolk Premier Cup First Round: Long Melford v Felixstowe & Walton Utd (7.45pm).
Suffolk Boys’ Under-18 Midweek Cup Second Round: Leiston v Haverhill (7.45pm).
Suffolk Boys’ Under-18 Midweek Cup Second Round: Felixstowe & Walton Utd v Woodbridge Town, Framlingham Town v Stowmarket Town, Kirkley & Pakefield v Beccles Town, Mildenhall Town v Waveney, Needham Market v Whitton Utd, Walsham-le-Willows v Sporting 87.