Melton banking on Mickey's speed
SOCCER: Melton St Audry's will be looking to 42-year-old Micky Milbourne to unlock Jewson League Haverhill Rovers' defence in the quarter-final of the Suffolk Senior Cup tomorrow.
By Elvin King
MELTON St Audry's will be looking to 42-year-old Micky Milbourne to unlock Jewson League Haverhill Rovers' defence in the quarter-final of the Suffolk Senior Cup tomorrow.
And if the Metaltec SIL side need any extra incentive to move just one game away from a Portman Road final in April they only have to glance at Rovers' cup record this season.
Haverhill have knocked Saints neighbours Woodbridge Town out of the FA Vase and the Jewson League Cup and also thrashed Woodbridge Athletic 5-0 in an earlier round of the Senior Cup.
"It would be nice to achieve something the two Woodbridge clubs have failed to do," said Melton joint manager Dave Spink today.
Spink, who runs the side with ex-Woodbridge Town stalwart Simon Fryatt, went on: "We have watched Haverhill a couple of times and they look a little slow at the back.
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"Micky Milbourne may be at the veteran stage but he still has the pace to worry any defence and we will be looking for him to get behind them.
"Teams have been caught out in the past who see Micky and think he is too old. He can be our trump card.
"We have done well to get this far and have nothing to lose tomorrow. We have spoken to Jewson League clubs Whitton United and Leiston about Haverhill and although far from over-confident we feel we can give them a good game.
"Apart from beating Woodbridge Athletic they also saw off Capel Plough 6-1 in the Senior Cup and may look at another SIL side and take us a bit lightly.
"I am a bit concerned about the state of their pitch as we like to play football as I am told it can be heavy and uneven."
Melton have a full squad to select from with Gary Lennard an experienced and key man at the back.
Club captain and key defender Peter Hatcher is set to return to the Grundisburgh back line for their home game against holders Kirkley.
Hatcher, who has been dogged by injuries over the last couple of seasons, played for 20 minutes in the Omnico Cup defeat against Ipswich Athletic last Saturday. He has been suffering from a knee problem.
Striker Martin Cotton took a knock but says he will be fine with manager Steve Potts saying: "Kirkley beat us in the Senior Cup last season and in a pre-season friendly.
"We are at home this time which will make it a little less painful. Kirkley are a better side than when they won this cup last April. There is no doubt that we will start underdogs.
"If we are beaten our season will take a dip as Walsham, a strong physical side with good players, are in pole position in the league.
"If we lose just one more league game we will be out of the championship race. So our season is currently hanging on a thread. But at the moment we are still in there battling."
Kirkley are top of the Lovewell Blake Anglian Combination and going all out for a treble as they are also in the league cup. In total Kirkley, who are planning big improvements to their Walmer Road ground, have scored 74 goals in 18 games. They have lost just once all season and conceded one goal a game.
In the other two ties Walsham-le-Willows player manager Paul Smith goes back to Sudbury where he scored goal after goal for Town in his hey day.
Now in his forties, Smith's SIL leaders will not find life straightforward against Border League AFC Sudbury's second eleven.
Leiston will start favourites when they visit Lowestoft to play middle-of-the-table Anglian Combination Ashlea.