HADLEIGH United manager Steve Holder admitted ‘luck was on our side’ after defeating Mildenhall in the Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup.
The understrength Brettsiders beat their fellow Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division visitors 1-0 at the Millfield in Tuesday’s second-round tie.
The only goal of the game came as early as the fourth minute when a left-wing Liam Wales corner was uncharacteristically missed by keeper Josh Pope and went straight into the far corner of the net.
Holder admitted: “Normally Mr Pope would come out and catch that, but a bit of luck was on our side tonight and that has just gone in straight from the corner.”
Mildenhall Town goalkeeper Josh Pope misses his punch and the ball ends up in the net direct from Liam Wales' left-wing corner. Main photograph: Liam Wales (third left) is congratulated after putting Hadleigh United ahead. Photographs: Paul Voller
Both sides had chances in the opening period, with 17-year-old keeper Fin Watts leaving his line to block from Mildenhall’s Tanner Call, while strike partner Kieran Twinn’s lob found the side-netting.
Pope thwarted midfielder Kyron Andrews as he burst through and then saved low to his left from Liam Wales in quick succession.
Although Mildenhall had the majority of the possession in the second half they failed to create much in the way of chances, although they looked more threatening following the introduction of substitutes Jarid Robson and Ben Nolan.
Soon after Robson flashed a shot across the face of goal, ex-Mildenhall striker George Bugg could only lift his effort over the crossbar as he stretched to reach a right-wing cross.
Holder said: “It was important we kept the ball and tried to play and we frustrated them. I thought we played all the football, if I am honest, they never really looked like they were going to threaten us and we got the goal, which was the important thing.
“I said if we can get to half time without conceding that’s 45 minutes done and then we will dig in deep. It was going to be a hard-fought second half but I thought we did well again – we tried to control the game, we tried to pass the ball and it was job done.”
Mildenhall Town striker Tanner Call is thwarted by Hadleigh United goalkeeper Fin Watts. Photograph: Paul Voller
In Tuesday night’s other tie, Leiston needed an 88th minute Ross Crane penalty to see off lower-league Brantham Athletic.
Jack Manly had given Leiston the lead after 39 minutes, but the visitors drew level in the 83rd minute when former Leiston player Ollie Godbold scored from the spot.
Hadleigh United and Leiston join Ipswich Wanderers in the line-up for this season’s quarter-finals.
The remaining five second-round ties will take place over the next two weeks.
Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Second Round: Hadleigh Utd 1 Mildenhall Town 0, Leiston 2 Brantham Athletic 1.