Late strike from Bacon sees Mildenhall within touching distance of the Thurlow Nunn Premier League championship
- Credit: Archant
Mildenhall Town 1 FC Clacton 0
Mildenhall require a point from their remaining three games to claim the Thurlow Nunn Premier League title following a dramatic late winner at home to strugglers FC Clacton on Saturday, in front of a crowd of more than 200.
They now look destined for the Ryman League Division North next season because although they struggled to overcome Clacton they have nevertheless proved to be the outstanding team this season.
There was little between the two sides until the 88th minute when ‘The Hall’ strengthened their position at the summit with a quality goal that deserved a better match. It was tough luck on the relegation candidates from Essex who totally belied their position and deserved at least a share of the spoils.
It was the visitors who started well and could easily have been ahead in the opening minutes.
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A teasing free-kick from skipper Kevin Coyle forced home keeper Josh Pope to make a last ditch save at his far post and then the keeper made a point-blank save from Sam Cripps following a corner. Clacton were then unlucky when the impressive Jake Clowsley fired a powerful shot from 28 yards that beat Pope but struck the bar.
The home side looked ordinary as they tried to penetrate a well-organised defence ably marshalled by Joe Moore.
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However, Stephen Griggs had an effort blocked, Chris Bacon headed over and Arran Mackay missed a great chance to ease the home tension. The half finished in disappointing fashion as both sides cancelled each other out.
Mildenhall restarted with greater tempo and Bacon’s cross was met by Mackay who darting in lifted his shot over from three yards.
Then man-of-the-match Gareth Simpson dispatched a great cross setting up Bacon who wasted a fine heading chance as frustration crept in against a resolute defence.
Paddy Hawkins made comfortable saves from substitute David Cooper’s volley and Bacon’s fierce low strike, but with two minutes remaining of normal time the breakthrough came.
A cross with pace delivered by Cooper from the right was met by Bacon who firmly headed home a superb goal to give the home side the win against a luckless FC Clacton who deserved better.