Framlingham Town Manager Mel Aldis has hailed the ‘brilliant’ performance of his team as they beat Wadham Lodge 3-1 in their FA Cup replay.
The Thurlow Nunn League First Division side had hosted Wadham on Saturday for the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, as both teams experienced the competition for the first time in their history.
But the 0-0 stalemate — against a team a step higher in the national league system — led to Wednesday night’s replay, which took place in torrential rain at Aveley FC’s new 3G pitch.
And Aldis has revealed that, despite always believing his team would win, he had deep down thought it was going to be very tough.
He said: “It was a great night for the club really, it was a big game for us and one that proved we’ve reached a certain level.
“The rain was pouring, it was a delayed kick off and we were away from home so although I thought ‘we could win’, deep down I was thinking it was going to be very difficult.
“But as soon as the game started, I knew we had the ability, we played really well.
“It was a brilliant performance and it’s got the whole club buzzing. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going but we’re also being realistic, it’s going to be a tough season, and a very difficult next game.”
Two goals from Simon Poacher and a third by Jake Taylor secured victory and earned Framlingham a home tie against Mildenhall Town in the next round.
Mildenhall Town are two steps above them in the league structure.
After the goalless draw last week, step five’s Wadham had to find an alternative venue — they ground share with Waltham Forest who were at home in another replay.
The visitors made the dream start on three minutes when Wadham’s keeper spilled a shot and Poacher was on hand to beat the defender to the ball and slot it into the empty net.
The home side played well but were consistently dealt with by The Castlemen’s keeper Louis Johnson and JamesMayhew at the heart of the defence.
Wadham’s long-range shots were dealt with by Johnson throughout the first half while two free-kicks from the home side went narrowly wide — the sides went into the changing rooms at 1-0 for the half-time break.
In the second half, Jake Taylor quickly brought the home keeper into action as the visitors started to pose problems with their pace up front.
And the threat was converted into a second score when John Kerridge earned a corner in the 55th minute, which Poacher scored with a firm header from Charlie Smith’s delivery.
Wadham were pushing forward but not creating many chances. Their frustration grew when a player was booked and their manager sent to the stands.
Jake Taylor increased the lead to three when he rifled a shot past the keeper in the 66th minute. Wadham scored a consolation goal on the 86th minute.