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Pressure on players and the pitch behind Mildenhall Town Reserves being withdrawn from the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League with two months of the season left to play

Bill Flynn says it was the pressure on players and the Recreation Way pitch which forced Mildenhall Town to withdraw their reserve side from the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League, writes Alex Moss.

With last Sunday marking the start of the final two calendar months of the 2019/20 season, Mildenhall Town Reserves had 13 games left to play in their league campaign.

The recent bad weather has forced multiple games to be postponed, and with the club’s first team and under-18s both using Recreation Way for their home games, chairman Flynn revealed the club’s committee made the decision to pull their reserves out of the league.

Mildenhall Town have withdrawn their reserves from the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League
Mildenhall Town have withdrawn their reserves from the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League

“The season has to be completed by the end of April, and that’s the first team, reserves and under-18s,” Flynn said. “This involves 20 games on the Recreation Way pitch in 10 weeks.

“Last season the reserves had three fixtures still to be played at the end of the season and we were fined £450. We didn’t want to be in that position again, so we reluctantly took the option to withdraw.

“It bears no reflection on the reserves team management or the players.

“Six of the reserves team play for the under-18s and you can’t expect young lads to play three games a week for the next 10 weeks.”

Mildenhall’s reserves finished seventh in the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League last season, despite not fulfilling three of their fixtures, and, before their withdrawal, sat 12th in this season’s table.

Flynn confirmed the club were keeping their options open on the future of their reserves, with a possible return to the Cambridgeshire County League the most likely move.

“We’re keeping our options open, but we won’t be applying for the (Thurlow Nunn) Reserve League again,” he said.

“We were quite successful in 1B (of the Cambridgeshire County League) and that allowed us to play on local pitches, as well as our own, so there was more flexibility.”

A statement on the Thurlow Nunn League website on Monday read: ‘Mildenhall Town have withdrawn from the Reserve League with immediate effect.

‘All their forthcoming fixtures have therefore been cancelled and details of matches already played have been expunged.’

Peter Hutchings, the league’s chairman, said he fully respected the club’s decision and understood the reasons behind withdrawing the team, but pointed out that it is a requirement from The FA for clubs to complete all of their league fixtures by April 25.

Mildenhall Town will be hoping to reignite their march up the Premier Division table when they visit Swaffham Town on Saturday (3pm) in the Premier Division.

Ricky Cornish’s men dropped to 10th after their scheduled home clash with promotion-chasing Norwich United at the weekend was postponed. The two sides will now meet at Recreation Way this coming Tuesday (7.45pm).

A brace from Katie Hayes helped Mildenhall Town Ladies to a 3-2 win at home to Cambourne United Women, in the S-Tech Women’s Championship on Sunday.

Mildenhall (2nd) visit Isleham United Ladies this Sunday (2pm).