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Mildenhall Town closing in on second Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division title in club’s history





The finish line is getting ever closer for Mildenhall Town.

Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Downham Town, which was followed on Tuesday evening by a 1-1 draw with Mulbarton Wanderers, has left Phil Weavers’ side requiring just 12 points from their remaining eight games to be crowned Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division champions for the second time in the club’s history.

And while the player-boss is refusing to get carried away, he has been delighted with how the season has unfolded so far, with his team currently sitting 13 points clear of second-placed Newmarket Town.

Ben Nolan celebrates scoring against Downham Town last weekend. Picture: Mark Westley
Ben Nolan celebrates scoring against Downham Town last weekend. Picture: Mark Westley

“At the start of the season we spoke as a group about breaking our season down into chunks with the aim of being in a position to challenge for the title come March/April time,” said Weavers, who took charge of the club in the summer of 2022.

“The boys have been excellent and put us in a good position to do that.

“It’s something that started two seasons ago – not this season. We’ve been building since I came in and the lads have really brought into it.

Luke Butcher (right) and Adam Capel (left) celebrate the latter’s goal during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Downham Town Picture: Mark Westley
Luke Butcher (right) and Adam Capel (left) celebrate the latter’s goal during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Downham Town Picture: Mark Westley

“They’ve been nothing short of brilliant but they also know there is still a lot to do. We’re taking nothing for granted.

“There’s good sides in this league and we have to be at it every week to pick up points.”

Much of Mildenhall’s success up until this point has been built upon solid foundations.

The goal that Mulbarton scored on Tuesday was just the 14th that they have conceded in the league all campaign from 28 outings, while they have kept 15 clean sheets (19 in all competitions).

It has been a welcome surprise for Weavers, who initially felt that his side would need to rely on ‘outscoring’ their opponents.

“I didn’t necessarily see us as a clean sheet team and I thought we’d have to outscore teams, but it hasn’t materialised that way,” he added.

“Our clean sheet and goals against record is a big reason as to why we are where we are.

“I take big pride in those statistics, both as a manager and a player, because I’ve played in a decent chunk of those games as well.

“The entire team is proud of it and it gives us something to go out and protect each game.”

The return of captain Luke Butcher has also given Mildenhall an extra lift for the run-in.

Butcher missed a number of games with a hernia issue, but the central defender was back in the fold by mid-January and in recent weeks he has shown a clinical touch with three goals in the last four games – including the equaliser against Mulbarton.

Weavers said of his skipper: “We knew about Butch’s injury quite early on in the season. We had a conversation and I said at the time when he came back it would be like having a new signing, which it has been.

“He’s a colossus and you won’t find a better centre-back in both boxes than Butch.

“He’s been a real leader since coming back and not just vocally, but also with his performances.

“Not that anyone would need it, but if evidence was needed as to why he’s our captain and has been Mildenhall captain for a number of years, the last few weeks have shown why.”

Butcher and his team-mates will aim to move another three points closer towards the title on Saturday when they travel to face seventh-placed Harleston Town (3pm).