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Lakenheath manager felt his players showed too much respect to Mildenhall Town

Ben Cowling felt his Lakenheath side gave Mildenhall Town far too much respect as they exited the FA Vase with a 3-1 home defeat on Saturday.

Heath conceded twice in the space of five minutes with Casey Phillips’ 20th-minute volley followed by a great run and finish from Tanner Call to trail 2-0 at half-time to their higher-league neighbours.

And it could have been worse if not for some wayward finishing and the heroics of their goalkeeper Charlie Beckwith.

Lakenheath manager Ben Cowling. Picture: Mecha Morton
Lakenheath manager Ben Cowling. Picture: Mecha Morton

After harsh words were dished out on the pitch at half-time, there was an improved second 45 minutes from Cowling’s side, ending it with a goal for each side. Tom Thulborn nicked the ball off ‘keeper Danny Crump to reply to James Hall’s simple all-too-easy finish while the hosts were left baffled they did not also have a penalty, instead getting a free kick.

“Mildenhall have thoroughly deserved to win today, no question about that,” said Cowling.

“I think we gave them far too much respect in the first half and ultimately it has killed us. They had all the time in the world to go and play football and that is just not good enough at any level, but especially against players like that.

“They got the couple of goals and they could probably have had another one in the first half.

“In the second half I thought we were much better. We got closer, we got tighter and deserved our goal.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the footage on that penalty (Thulborn bundled over) again as people who were in line were saying it was clearly in and it looked inside. For me, if that goes in it is an interesting last 10-15 minutes.”

He added: “The worse thing is we haven’t done ourselves justice and it is a big stage and we’ve not shown what we can do, certainly in the first half.”

Attention now switches to the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup where they travel to Felixstowe & Walton United Reserves in the second round on Saturday (2.30pm).

“It is a competition I hold dear,” said Cowling, who could have defender Ryan Sanders back from a niggling leg muscle injury.

“Today we have come here as underdogs and next week we will be heavy favourites. As a group we have got to get a consistency of performance that either of those two scenarios we go out and we play the same way.”

But after 19 goals in 60 appearances, attacker Ryan Weaver has returned to higher-league Haverhill Rovers.

On Wednesday AFC Sudbury Reserves visit in a return to First Division North action (7.45pm).