Much-changed Whittlesey Athletic hold their heads high after FA Vase exit to Mildenhall Town
- Credit: Archant
Whittlesey Athletic were beaten comfortably against higher-league opponents, but they can hold their heads high after a valiant effort in the FA Vase.
The Fenland side lost 6-0 to step five Mildenhall Town in their first round tie on Saturday, the first time the club has reached this stage in its history.
However, the club’s reserve side stepped in after a first-team player tested positive for Covid-19 two days after their United Counties League Division One fixture with Harrowby United on Tuesday.
Whittlesey held their own for 24 minutes until Hall broke the deadlock, but reserve team player-manager Luke Quince could not be prouder of his side’s performance.
“We got a call on Friday to say ‘you’ve got to play the game’. I text the boys, they said they’re up for it and we had 24 hours’ notice to get a squad together,” he said.
“We knew we wouldn’t have the ball, so we set up to defend and frustrate them, which I think we did for large spells.
“We didn’t expect anything out of the game, but they did not carve us open once.
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“The first goal was nip and tuck, and from that moment, we didn’t drop our heads. It’s a good performance and we’re happy.”
The reserve team, who ply their trade in Peterborough & District League Division One, did show signs of promise at times, including a second-half effort from Dale Forster that hit the crossbar.
But their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division visitors, who were only playing at step four a year ago, proved their quality while benefitting from two own goals in their victory.
It was a rare chance for Quince’s men to play in front of a healthy crowd, a moment they can savour for future games.
“It’s a better facility than what we have normally, so we’re happy,” Quince said. “The lads ran themselves into the ground, so we’ve got no complaints on that.
“The chairman came up to us and thanked us for playing the game. Most of our lads have played for Whittlesey for 10, 15 years, so the club appreciates what we do for them.
“I’m proud of the boys. We’re the first ever Whittlesey team in the first round of the Vase, so it’s a proud moment for the lads.”
A club statement said first-team players and management will self-isolate until Wednesday, November 11 and are set to return to action versus St Andrews on November 14.
Whittlesey Athletic: Jonny Pullan; Tom Carter, Sam Stephens, Chris Brigham (C), Jack Collis, Thomas Retzlaff, Dale Forster, Aaron Dunmore, Dean Giglio, Adam Moore, Luke Quince.
Unused sub: Paul Hibbins.
Goals: Mildenhall Town - Call (24’), Butcher (32’, 73’), Carter own goal (43’), Steed (53’), Moore own goal (54’).
Cautions: Whittlesey Athletic - none.
Referee: Mr Brian O’Sullivan.