Seasiders 2 Brantham 7

Saturday 5th August 2017

FA Cup – Extra Preliminary Round









The sun’s out, the sky is blue as I write this, it’s the Sunday Morning after the Saturday afternoon before and I would note at the start that this report is about The Seasiders and is therefore unashamedly biased. Having said that, I take my hat off to Brantham who progressed to the next round of the competition and a plumb home tie with Bostik League (North) side Cheshunt in a fortnights time. On the day the blue imps were the better side and deservedly won, I’m not trying to hide from that fact, nor do I think are the players. We had a big wake-up call yesterday, hopefully the alarm clock ringing in all our heads, players, management, committee and supporters alike will be heeded and we will all set out to do our utmost to ensure there is no recurrence of that performance.

I was at Recreation Way Mildenhall on the 16th August 2008 and left their shell shocked having just lost 8-0 in the Extra-Preliminary Round of the FA Cup and like yesterday, that was a really bad, bad day, but we survived and grew stronger and the world never ended.

We now have an excellent fan base, which will hopefully grow as the season progresses and despite yesterday’s result, a strong squad that could be strengthened further before we next play a game. We have a brand spanking new clubhouse which will be the envy of many who visit the Goldstar Ground this season and offer spectator facilities and services more in line with Step 5 and above of the football pyramid, far removed (in facilities rather than distance) from the old cricket pavilion which was our home for over 40 years.

There was no clue at 3pm of what was about to happen, Brantham had played two league games, drawing both, the first 0-0 at Long Melford and then 2-2 at home to FC Clacton in midweek, they were clearly determined from the kick-off that this game wasn’t going to end goal-less or as a draw.

The Seasiders started brightly forcing an early corner that Josh Kerridge headed wide, but there were warning signs as Brantham worked hard to close down players on the ball and the home defence were almost caught napping with some casual passes across the back, getting away with it twice before the lively Ben Newson intercepted a weak effort and drilled a low hard snap-shot into the bottom corner of Danny Crump’s net with just eight minutes on the clock. The momentum was with the visitors with the home side giving the ball away cheaply in dangerous positions while Brantham’s captain Ben Newson led by example in working tirelessly to close players down and set up attacks.

The lead was doubled in the 24th minute when Dan Davis was penalised for handball in front of the Brantham dugout and Craig Hughes delivered the ball into the Seasiders area for Jack Smith to rise unchallenged and head past Crump.

The Seasiders went close to pulling a goal back from Stuart Ainsley’s free kick into the Brantham area but in the melee Brantham’s Sean Gunn went down with a head injury and need extended treatment before being substituted and from the eventual restart the momentum was back with the visitors who extended their lead with Sam Newson scoring his first and Brantham’s third at the end of a neat build up, helped by a Seasiders defence that looked vulnerable with every attack. Three minutes later it was 4-0 to the visitors as Sam Newson was on hand to double his tally from his brother’s corner kick. Danny Crump pulled off an acrobatic save to deny the visitors going further ahead before the break, turning away Hughes goal bound effort from under the bar.

Miles Powell and Nick Ingram were on from the start of the second half with Dan Davis and Craig Jennings withdrawn but within five minutes of the restart it was 5-0 with full back Ed Nobbs putting the finishing touch to Ben Newson’s squared ball across Crumps goalmouth.

Powell did have a shot from distance that was off target before Sam Newson completed his hat-trick in the 62nd minute.

Player manager Michael Brothers was adjudged to have brought down Joe Francis in the 66th minute with Nick Ingram converting the resultant penalty to reduce the deficit and the Seasiders produced their first shot on target in open play after 72 minutes when Ingram drove a shot goalwards that Hawkins collected.

Sam Newson grabbed his fourth goal with 15 minutes left to make it 7-1 and Scott Chaplin added a second consolation goal in the final minute of the game, lobbing the ball over Hawkins but there was no celebration as referee Ryan Head brought the game to a close.


The same group pf players bar a couple of changes ended last season with four straight wins and you don’t turn from a good side to a bad one overnight, but every now and then you get a freak result, hopefully this was one of those occasions, that’s taking nothing away from Brantham who fully deserved the win and we wish them well in the next round.

Story: Phil Griffiths

Pictures: Stan Baston