Seasiders 5 Whitton 3

Tuesday 19th September 2017

Thurlow Nunn League Cup

First Round










Firstly, I must give credit to a young Whitton United side that came to the Goldstar ground probably looking to keep the scoreline respectable over the 90 minutes, and to their credit, did just that.

While probably not at the top of Messrs. O’Donnell & Watson’s priority list, it was, nevertheless, a game to be won and a place in the next round of a cup competition in which the club have done well in the last few seasons, with the exception of last season that is.

There was a return to action for Craig Jennings after his month off, and a start for Nick Ingram, while on the bench keeping Joe Francis and Sheridan Driver company were two youngsters in Lee Burns and 16 year-old Joe Hunt, who were to make their senior debuts in the later stages of the game.

Again there was a good crowd in for the game, with the rain staying away and a decent atmosphere, with a fair few supporters wearing green and white.

It is sometimes difficult to focus your mind when the form book tells you that this should be a fairly comfortable passage through to the next stage against a young side from a Division below, no matter how much you convince yourself you are fully focused. Perhaps the side were guilty of not taking it all too seriously at kick-off but seven minutes into the game they certainly were, after Whitton had raced into a two goal lead.

It was former Seasider Zehnn Young who opened the scoring after just four minutes when he got free on the right and clipped the ball over Danny Crump, who had come to cover the near post, guiding it into the top corner at the far post. There was no time to settle, with the visitors willing to chase and harry the home defence, and in the seventh minute it paid off when what seemed a fairly comfortable collect for Danny Crump was nipped away by Josh Stevens to make it 2-0 and game on.

It was a great start for the visitors but the home side settled into the game and began to pass and move, and slowly the balance of the game changed, with Whitton on the defensive as the Seasiders began to gain control. You sometimes need a spark to set something off and that came in the 17th minute from Jordy Matthews, playing a 1-2 with Craig Jennings he worked his way into the area and with some neat footwork opened up a space to hit a rising shot past Tom Davis from a tight angle into the roof of the net.

The equaliser was not long in coming, and again it was Matthews who collected the ball in the area in a central position from Stuart Boardley’s free kick before turning and firing home from 15 yards.

Nial McPhillips went close for the visitors, firing just wide of Crump’s left hand post before Miles Powell fired Felixstowe in front from Callum Bennett’s cross. Five goals in 30 minutes was certainly exciting stuff for those watching but neither dugout would have been too impressed with their sides’ defensive displays.

Whitton came close to levelling the scores for a second time in the 35th minute with a Zehnn Young, well-placed, 30 yard free kick that looked destined for the top corner, but Danny Crump was equal to the task, getting across and at full stretch, turning the ball away for a corner.

There was still time for another goal and it came from Miles Powell, who jinxed into the box before firing past Davis to make it 4-2 on the stroke of half time.

In fairness to Whitton, they had their chances to get back in the game, Alex Breadman rattled the Felixstowe woodwork with one effort and referee Paul Burnham pointed to the penalty spot after Lee Burns, who had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes, had brought down Ted Colver in the area, but Young’s effort from the spot kick was well saved by Crump and those two missed opportunities proved expensive as the home side stretched their lead still further just after the hour, when Stuart Boardley drilled home a 20 yard free kick.

There was a roll call of substitutions as both sides used their full complement and a yellow card for Dan Davis, which means a one match suspension, and in the closing minutes a third goal for Whitton fired home by Breadman.

A not so comfortable passage into the next round where the Seasiders will meet a Needham Market reserve side that knocked Division One Framlingham Town out on the same evening, that game sometime in late October at the Goldstar ground.

It was an entertaining game for the spectators and a brave showing from the visitors who gave a good account of themselves against the experience of the home side. I don’t think the result was ever in serious doubt, even when the home side were two goals down, but the Seasiders were certainly made to work for their victory.

We wish our visitors well for the remainder of the season in Division One, where they could well be in contention for a promotion spot. It was good to see Tommy Woodward looking as sprightly as ever, together with the rest of the Greens committee members.