Mixed feelings for Castlemen

SMART STOP: Framlingham goalkeeper Sam Chilvers gets down well to deny Chris Bacon
SMART STOP: Framlingham goalkeeper Sam Chilvers gets down well to deny Chris Bacon

EMIRATES FA CUP

PRELIMINARY ROUND

Framlingham Town 0

Mildenhall Town 1

Manager Mel Aldis was left with mixed emotions after watching his Framlingham Town side bow out of this season’s FA Cup on Saturday.

On the one hand, Aldis was both proud and delighted with the way his players held their own against opponents from two leagues higher up the pyramid in front of a healthy 243-strong crowd.

But, there was also more than a hint of disappointment for the experienced boss after The Castlemen were unable to force a replay as late chances went begging.

There were 90 minutes on the clock when Anthony Johnson rose highest inside the Mildenhall box, only to see his header cannon against the crossbar, before neither Danny Smith nor Jake Taylor could apply the finishing touch with the goal at their mercy.

The duo claimed a foul against Mildenhall left-back Joe Asensi, but the referee waved away those penalty appeals, bringing an end to Framlingham’s first ever foray in the world’s oldest cup competition.

“I am so proud of the way the boys stood up to the challenge, but there is that disappointment lingering as well,” said Aldis.

“For the first 20 minutes Mildenhall were well on top, but after that we got back into the game and played really well.

“There is that thought that we could have been in the draw and at least earned ourselves a replay, but it was not to be — that is football.

“But I have said to the lads that if they continue to show that ability and application, they will have a good season.

“We have got a good group and this performance gives us something to build on.”

It was the Bostik League Division One North visitors that came out of the traps quickly, with Jake Chambers-Shaw stinging Sam Chilvers’ palms inside 60 seconds.

The pressure continued and with eight minutes played the home side’s resistance was broken.

Chambers-Shaw was the creator on the right flank, crossing towards the back post where Shaun Avis was waiting to nod the ball home.

An almost identical chance was presented to Mildenhall’s Jacob Brown five minutes later but, on this occasion, Chilvers displayed good reflexes to turn the ball against his crossbar and away to safety.

And from that moment onwards, Framlingham settled into the tie, though they never really tested Sam Roach in the Mildenhall goal during the first half.

Their best chance fell for last season’s leading goalscorer Smith, but just as he was preparing to pull the trigger, Josh Curry intervened.

Taylor — Framlingham’s number 10 — sent a header skidding wide of the target at the start of the second half, before there was more work for Chilvers after 56 minutes.

He got down well to prevent Avis from celebrating a second headed goal and then sprung up in time to thwart Chris Bacon on the rebound.

Two good chances followed for Chambers-Shaw to put the outcome beyond doubt, but the playmaker sent the first of those over and the second inches wide.

After that, though, it was the hosts who looked the more likely to notch the tie’s second goal.

Johnson was agonisingly close to finding the equaliser with a powerful headed effort that left Roach flat-footed, with the woodwork coming to his aid.

Then, in the second minute of stoppage time, drama ensued following Roach’s failure to collect a high ball deep in Mildenhall territory.

With the goalkeeper stranded, a goal looked inevitable but Smith and Taylor ended up with their faces down in the turf as the ball somehow trickled wide of a gaping net.

Calls went up for a foul against Asensi — Framlingham insisting that he had pushed Taylor, who in turn knocked Smith off balance — but in a crowded penalty area, the referee refrained from blowing his whistle.

Framlingham: Chilvers, Aldis, Boardley, Thorpe, Johnson, Mayhew, Poacher, C Smith, D Smith, Taylor, Ling

Express Man of the Match - Sam Chilvers: There were plenty of contenders for this award, but Framlingham’s recently-signed goalkeeper made some smart stops.

Attendance: 243

n Framlingham bounced back at the first time of asking on Tuesday night, beating Whitton United 2-1 at home in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.

Smith and Matt Aldis were on target for the home team, who host Woodbridge Town tonight (7.45pm).

The visiting Woodpeckers have made a positive start to the new season, with five straight victories leaving them in a good position at the top of the standings.

Framlingham, who have won each of their three fixtures, sit fifth.

n In the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup, Framlingham Town will be away to holders Achilles in the first round on Saturday, September 16 (2.30pm).

The winners of that encounter will travel to Waveney on Saturday, October 14 (2.30pm).